Reasons for physician dissatisfaction are clear

August 9, 2013

A reader explains why many doctors are unhappy with the medical profession.

The cover article of your June 25, 2013 edition asks what’s driving the dissatisfaction with electronic health records. ("EHR Divorce: What’s driving the dissastisfaction?”) In the same issue there are articles regarding the burdensome  absurdity known as “Maintenance of Certification”, a letter to the editor complaining about a lawyer opining about all things medical, the push for nurse practitioners for an expanded scope of practice, and how the Affordable Care Act  supposedly will increase demand for doctors. (So why aren’t salaries reflecting the same? Physician compensation has been flat for a decade when adjusted for inflation.)

As a second-generation physician “in the trenches,” I can say the answers to “What’s driving the dissatisfaction?” are abundantly clear to anyone actually practicing patient care.

Many of our professional societies are complicit in these circumstances, most notably the American Medical Association. When physicians either hold their current professional societies accountable and demand change, or create new organizations that will actually represent their interests, perhaps there will be some hope for a different practice environment. However, I will not be holding my breath.

David Hayes, MD

Scottsdale, Arizona

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