Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

Primary Care Physician Burnout is a Growing Epidemic

Posted by William Kirkpatrick on Dec 02, 2016

concierge-doctor.pngA recent survey uncovered the truth about what doctors think about primary care and healthcare today. The survey found that 49% of primary care physicians say they "often or always" experience feelings of burnout and more than half of the physicians have considered leaving medical field altogether.

The problem is so intense that 77% of physicians are pessimistic about the future of the medical profession and over 84% of physicians agree that the medical profession is in decline. 

To make matters worse, the U.S. will face a shortage of between 46,000 - 90,000 physicians by 2025.

Why is this happening? 

Primary care physicians across the country are under immense financial and administrative pressure – with significantly less time to thoroughly care for patients.

Doctors practice in an environment where treating patients with insensitivity and impatience has become the norm, and they are forced to spend an hour per day on insurance paperwork.


Related Article: Why Insurance is Destroying Primary Care


According to the Wall Street Journal article titled, "Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession," physician discontent is due to insurance and administrative overhead, which cause rushed visits and ultimately, a increasing number of dissatisfied patients. 

Malpractice rates and overhead costs have increased while reimbursements to physicians from insurance companies and Medicare are steadily reduced.


Related Article: Why the Demand for Primary Care Physicians Outpaces Supply


The only method of survival is to drastically increase patient appointments each day, making it very difficult for sound examinations, thorough diagnosis and follow-up. As a result, patients are becoming increasing dissatisfied. They have difficulty scheduling appointments, contacting their doctors during after-hours and the getting their questions answered in the short 15 minute appointment slot. 

Luckily, physicians and patients find salvation in an alternative primary care model. This new model is called direct primary care. Evidence shows that the direct primary care model reduces healthcare costs compared to the traditional primary care model, and it even improves overall quality of care. Thus, the direct care model provides better care for less money.

Doctors working directly with and for their own patients is the principle upon which direct primary care was founded. By cutting out the expensive insurance and administrative middlemen, the cost of providing care decreases drastically. Patients are better cared for.  Doctors have more professional and personal satisfaction. Everyone saves money. It is a win-win for everyone…except for the big insurance conglomerates and high paid hospital administrators.


Topics: Direct Primary Care, Physician Shortage, Recent Research, Primary Care Today