From Dr. S. in PA:
I read the email you posted from Dr. L and had to echo his comments. I’m a urologist in Pennsylvania in a four man group. One is retiring soon, at age 64. I have 2 partners in their 50’s, and I’m in my late 30’s. My partners in their 50’s constantly refer to their desire to retire early. I like to think right now I’m going to practice as long as I can.
However, there seems to be a growing recognition among everyone that I speak to that the “goose that laid the golden egg” is dead already. Very few urologists locally are doing well financially. The unreimbursed costs related to such as prior authrorizations, electronic medical records, massive amounts of phone calls/prescription requests are eating away at our bottom line. Our income is at lower levels now than 10 years ago, and the burden of practice is increasing yearly.
Not one physician over 50 I’ve spoken to thinks medical practice (not income) is as satisfying as it used to be. And most I’ve come across will admit if asked that they wouldn’t recommend it as a profession to their children.
And, with the new emphasis with limiting work hours for residents, most new MD’s will admit that participating in family life and developing personal interests take precedence over the identity of being a hardworking, hard-driving productive physician.
I fear for the future of my profession. Physicians have been squeezed for so long that we’re just sick as hell. And we won’t take it forever.
Doctors who see what is coming are welcome to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let me know if you would prefer that I only use your initial, but I need identifying information to confirm that you are who you say you are.