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View Diary: Republicans refuse to act on dire shortage of physicians (60 comments)

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  •  CN - I think this is an important issue (5+ / 0-)

    I think that having the federal government forgive some portion of medical school debt in return for a physician pursuing a family practice residency is one of the solutions.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:57:36 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  One of the things never discussed is the (0+ / 0-)

      medicare contribution of post grad medical education. A doctor can get licensed with as little as one year of training - basically you do a flex internship and you're good to go except you really don't know anything. So most docs do 3-5 years depending upon the specialty. The get paid a stipend during that time, and they consume huge amounts of attending physician time. Medicare reimburses for these training expenses to the tune of about $150,000 per year per trainee. So a young general surgeon just out of training and specialty board eligible in a year, has her own investment in the cost of college and medical school (which can be substantial) plus the public investment of $750,000 in post graduate training. Moreover, the physicians doing the training, doctors in academic practice, give up substantial income in order to do teaching and research. I hate to offend my primary care colleagues, but for the most part they waste the training they received and their patients pay for it. My primary doc is an internist. Four years of medical school and three years of post graduate medical training, plus 15 years in practice, and he is incapable of draining a skin abscess - he'll refer you to a surgeon. Most internists know how to manage a half dozen diseases in their sleep and for the rest they've mostly gotten too lazy to bother. Rather than knowing the diseases, they know a colleague. It has gotten more and more pathetic. Not that I didn't love practicing medicine, I did, but there was an awful lot of bullshit and the pile got mighty high during my career.

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