I have noticed lately that more and more of my “Doctors Visits” are really with the “Physician Assistants”. Now I don’t mind that since these P.A.’s are often young, friendly and smile more than the “Doctors.” But, I was curious about what looked like a trend in my healthcare, and decided to check this trend out with my favorite duo – my smartphone and Google; here are the “facts”:
- MORE PEOPLE – Our population is growing older and bigger – you know. We’re headed toward 500 million by mid-century.
- NOT ENOUGH STUDENTS ARE BECOMING DOCTORS – Not enough young folks are willing to/are able to spend all the time and money it takes to get to be a doctor – but the result is there won’t be enough doctors for the this growing population.
- THE GOVERNMENT – Apparently, government funding for residencies is slowly getting less and less. After Med School, these potential doctors are facing major financial challenges and a big decision.
- THE SOLUTION – More and more Physician Assistants are taking care of the not-terribly-serious healthcare cases and the remaining doctors are left to handle the serious stuff.
So, it seems to me that the signs all point to a doctor shortage.
Can that be good? Is this an issue?
Or… should we be happy & satisfied with those really nice and talented Physician Assistants?
What do you think?