Health Care Professionals 1
Health Care Professionals
Leslie T. Moore
August 9, 2011
Health Care Professionals 2
Health care professionals play a key role in the provision of health services to met the needs
and demands of the population. This includes the health policy ...view middle of the document...
(Williams/Torrens 2010). This is why many doctors really didn’t like
the concept of managed care from the beginning. Managed care went directly to the heart
of the doctor-patient relationship and imposed a primary care gatekeeper authority as
well as roles about patient referral. United and Aetna gave up gate keepers more than
five years ago. This will determine and influence whether physicians continue to see
patients. As a result, physicians and patients seem to prefer choice to efficiency, which
will add pressure for more physicians and is the first of several possible factors fueling
fears of a new physician shortage. The second reason is the baby boomer retirement;
when most baby boomer students went to medical school after the expansionary
movement of the early 1970s when the federal government “grew” the production of
Health Care Professionals 4
young physicians by 30%, up to a level of about 17,000 today. This produced a 20 year
total of 340,000 almost the exact total of all physicians in the practice before 1970. With
the additional places and new medical schools approved by congress, in 1970 the AMA
estimated that 311,203 were “active” and that 22,828 were already out of practice.
Almost 30 years later, in 1997, the AMA estimated that 756,710 has been licensed as
physicians, with 684,605 listed as “active practitioners. While these are the latest AMA
data, figure that another five years of 17,000 new practitioners brought the total in 2002
to about 779,605. That’s the number from which 340,000 physicians are about to start
large-scale retirement, this started in 2010. The third and final reason is that physicians
prefer a more favorable and controllable lifestyle. This factor stems in part from the
increasing number of women in the workforce, but it affects men as well. Generally,
younger physicians seek a different lifestyle that allows for weekends off, limits on the
number of hours worked per week, and other amenities that allow for activities outside
the workplace. Taken together, these preferences have had and will probably continue to
have the effect of reducing the amount of time available for patient care.
There is a fourth reason that is interesting which is that some physicians moved into
alternative employment, training to become a part or full-time administrators and
physician executives, working with hospitals, consultant firms and drug companies.
While alternative employment may pay less on an hourly basis, it does provide a new
career path without many of the traditional hassles of maintaining a physician’s lifestyle
Health Care Professionals 5
and long hours.
2. Identify and describe three factors that contribute to the nursing shortage in the United
The three factors are the issues of nursing school enrollment, the...