23 Mar (NEWSMAX) – A majority of physicians see a somewhat bleak future for medicine, pointing to eroding independence and shrinking income, reports EverydayHealth.com. According to a survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions of more than 600 doctors, six in 10 physicians said they expect many of their colleagues to retire earlier than planned in the next 1 to 3 years.
That perception cuts across age, gender and specialty.
Another 55 percent of doctors surveyed believe many of their colleagues will cut back on their hours because of the way medicine is changing, although the survey didn’t delineate on how it was changing.
Seventy-five percent believe the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine, an increase from the 2011 survey result of 69 percent.
“Physicians recognize ‘the new normal’ will necessitate major changes in the profession that require them to practice in different settings as part of a larger organization that uses technologies and team-based models for consumer (patient) care,” the survey’s findings stated.
Approximately two-thirds of those surveyed said they believe physicians and hospitals will work together more closely in coming years.
Results found that in the last 2 years, 31 percent moved into a larger practice.
Nearly eight in 10 believe midlevel providers will play a larger role in directing primary care.
Four in 10 doctors reported their take-home pay decreased from 2011 to 2012, with more than half said their pay cut was 10 percent or less, according to the survey.
Among physicians reporting a pay cut, four in 10 blame Obamacare and 48 percent of all doctors believed their income would drop again in 2013 as a result of the health reform law.
It wasn’t all bad news, however.
Seventy percent of doctors said they were satisfied about practicing medicine, although that number was lower for primary care providers and higher for younger age groups.
Dissatisfaction was blamed on less one-on-one time with patients, longer hours, and dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, and government regulations.
Deloitte mailed the survey to more than 20,000 physicians selected from the American Medical Association’s master file. Just 613 returned completed surveys, giving a margin of error of 3.9 percent at the 0.95 confidence level.