Doctor’s Diary August 25, 2017: Doctor Shortage

(Snippets from the frontline)

Doctor Shortage

We do not have enough doctors.  Passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) amplified this deficiency in our healthcare system.  Even with new insurance in hand, many patients had no where to go, or waited months for an appointment.

There is a solution to this shortage:  Enroll experienced nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in accelerated medical schools for two years…not four.  Cover their tuition costs with loans and service-back-to-the-community.

Since they already made the commitment to the field and know the physiology, they can hone new skills and bridge the gap between taking orders to giving orders.

There may be doctors that shun this idea, but some of my best in-training learning came from nurses. Many are intellectually capable of moving forward to fill these empty shoes, while also bringing an extra dose of compassion.

(One barrier beyond this which needs confronting is increasing residency training positions: )

Give them a chance.  Their success will be our success. 

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.


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