The Looming American Doctor Shortage & Why 9 Out of 10 Doctors Would Discourage You From Entering the Profession
I’ve written some nasty, awful, and downright mean blog posts about doctors…
And deleted them the next day. You’ll never read them.
They came from a place of hurt and pain. They weren’t’ going to serve anyone when written from that place. They were directed at doctors and nurses, the ones who caused me a lot of pain, suffering and frustration.
I’m very sad about the current state of medicine. I feel the sadness of the physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and everyone else involved.
And I’ve been on the receiving end of their sadness – transmitted in awful bedside manners, curt explanations, dodging my questions, no regard for my long-term health, downright bad recommendations, never telling me about the side effects, and there was that time I got yelled at.
I’ve received this pain and gotten very angry about it.
And if that’s what had to happen for me to be able to write this message right back to all the people in the health industry… I’d gladly do it all over again.
The Sad State Of Modern Medicine Goes Deeper Than You or Me
It’s everywhere, the health profession is dying the death of a thousand cuts and being brought to it’s knees. And it seems like no one is even paying attention.
Did you know?:
- America ranks dead LAST vs other countries in the world in healthcare
- However, America spends more than all the other countries on healthcare
- America could have a 90,000 – 200,000 doctor shortage by 2025
I’m not completely sure… but I hope people start waking up to the reality. Have you ever researched what being a doctor would be like? Sure, many of them still make a great living. But it’s not as glamorous as we might think anymore:
- 9 out of 10 doctors would discourage you from entering the profession
- Average student loan debt for physicians is $158,000 – $300,000
- Doctors have the 2nd highest suicide rate
Many general practitioners (not specialists or surgeons) are seeing a dip in income, and it’s not likely to recover. Why? Paperwork and red tape.
Obamacare, Insurance, and Pharmaceutical companies have stolen the control from the one place it needs to be – between the healer and the sick person.
They’ve confused science and art and medicine. Medicine is the combination of art and science. It’s not science only… which is why our “scientific” healthcare system is ranked 41st in the world.
Medicine cannot be ruled ONLY by numbers, formulas, and double-blind studies.
Our current experiment proves this model is only very expensive Sick-Care.
These facts better scare you. If not for you, then for your children.
These facts show a very destructive trend that our society will be forced to correct at some point. I hope we choose to do it instead of having it forced on us.
A Day in the Life Of Today’s Medical Practitioner
Have you ever tried to walk a day in a general practitioner’s life (in the modern medical system)?
Showing up to work, you know you have a fully-packed day. Every minute is scheduled from the moment you walk into your office or hospital. Your staff is stressed and the paperwork from yesterday still isn’t done.
You’ll be lucky to have a lunch break today.
Patients arrive in pain, sick and upset…
Most expect you to save them in the 15 minutes allotted to each time slot.
They don’t want to pay anymore money than what their insurance company covers and the company says 15 minutes is what you get.
As fast as possible, you try to defuse the strong emotions that surround health pain, you quickly scan their health history, listen to symptoms, and do some physical checks. And now you have 3-5 minutes left.
The patient is staring back at you, waiting for a miracle. Your gut tells you you need more time, you need to tell them all kinds of things…
But the insurance industry and malpractice insurance dictates what your next move is… so you push those thoughts deep inside and lock them away.
Instead, you write a prescription or ask them to get further testing and tell them to come back in a week.
And then you quickly skirt their questions because you know you are already behind for your next patient appointment. You have to go, to be fair to the people in the room nextdoor.
So you walk out, knowing the look in their eyes is saying, “Wait, but can’t I get more advice?”
Later, after all the patients are gone, you have a mountain of paperwork to do just to cover your @ss so you don’t lose your license or get sued… not to mention you have to do it to get paid.
So you do some, then pack the rest up and take it home – exhausted.
(Just another day in the office.)
Can you get a sense for why health practitioners of all types are upset, too? Why they are leaving the modern medicine game?
Why Would You Work in The Medical Field?
Simply because you are called to… because it eats you up to not be in it.
There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from giving your gifts. And if you’re like me and believe that not giving these gifts will cause bad consequences, then it becomes an absolute need to do it.
Not to mention, there’s the joy you feel when a person you’re helping achieves the goals they want or gets rid of the pain that’s tormenting them.
The reason to work in the medical field is because you have the desire, the calling and love to do it. But that can all be crushed by the current system. The lack of ability to do what you need to do, to get rewarded for it, and to be respected can easily crush dreams, hopes and desires.
In my head, it shouldn’t be an “either or” situation.
Who’s to Blame?
In the medical system, most of the conversation is about the poor sick people – about our skyrocketing rates of PREVENTABLE disease, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune disease. And of course, those of us in the know are mostly focused on what THEY are doing wrong and why they are to blame.
But even more of the conversation is about the health professionals and how they are doing it wrong.
Do they deserve some of it? Hell yes they do! Many of them gave away their responsibility into a system that encourages complacency and stopped taking responsibility for the results they are getting with their patients.
They stopped learning new skills and tools that are needed to help their patients. Not to mention, their demeanor got cold, moody and arrogant. And all of that’s pathetic.
But that’s not the full story… and the practitioners above are not representative of all…
In fact, there’s a much more interesting untold story about the 100,000s (maybe more?) of health practitioners who are caught in the middle… the ones with the big hearts and the desire to serve, but are handcuffed and unrewarded…
The ones who are doing their very best, day in and day out. And I believe this to be the MAJORITY of the practitioners.
I see most health professionals as the ones who are ALSO getting the raw end of the deal.
Health professionals in the modern medical system can’t spend the time they want, give the advice they want or care like they want to.
They are caught in systems that force them to behave in certain ways or else they’ll be kicked out… or even jailed.
It only makes sense that we have a looming doctor shortage in this country. It only makes sense that patients are upset.
However, it’s time to stop blaming the other side in each of these cases. Both sides contain loving and caring people trying to do their best.
There’s Another Way…
I believe the solution to the problem is going to come from those of us caught with the raw end of the deal – us patients and health practitioners who are ready for a change.
We both carry responsibility in the problem and different actions are the only way to even begin to change it. Here’s my proposal:
- Take responsibility for your health, your problems, and diseases. They can’t actually be fixed without your 100% commitment to owning the state of health you are currently in. Don’t ask to be saved… don’t think you will be saved. No one can save you but you.
- Don’t buy into the insurance model game anymore. Sure, it’s now illegal to not have it and it’s still a really good idea for all the outrageous medical bills that can happen in life, especially in horrific accidents and life-threatening situations. BUT start saving your money and plan to invest it outside of this game. For instance, reallocate 10% of your income to great food, great supplements, non-insurance covered help like functional medicine practitioners, holistic nutritionists, acupuncture, chiropractic, life coaching, and anything else your body might need and your intuition tells you to try. Like it or not, the insurance game is sick-care only right now, and if you want to actually get better you’re likely to have to pay out of pocket. And mostly because of what I’ve outlined in this post, the best people who can help you… they’ve left the system because they can’t help you like they need to and they aren’t compensated for doing it.
- When you’re participating in the modern medical system, be the best you can be. Understand that you’re not the only one upset and understand the rules better, so you can get the care you want. Make it easy for people to serve you by being friendly, kind, having notes ready, and being the most informed patient they’ve seen this year.
For Health Practitioners:
- Take responsibility for the level of care and results your patients have been getting. If you know in your heart it’s been sub-par, then own that and begin to carve out 30 mins or more a day to get up to speed on what is working for your patient population- maybe it’s reading a book about diet, maybe it’s taking some functional medicine classes, maybe it’s reaching out to a college to find out what they’re doing that works. All that matters is that you make this a priority and take small actions until it changes.
- Understand that you have a choice to play the insurance model game. No matter what you say about why you have to, I can provide a counterpoint or case study of someone else who didn’t choose it. So, if you want to choose it, you can create more time for patients, you can hire better staff, you can choose any number of other business models that allow patients to pay you out of pocket for the great service you want to provide. You can give your gifts and have a lower-stress life and get paid well to do it. And your patients will be better served as well. If you’re still in the insurance game, begin researching other options that are growing around the country.
- If you already decided not to play the insurance game fully, DON’T fail at business. It’s risky to be inside the insurance model and it’s risky to be outside of it. The risks are different. Inside the model, your emotions, energy, and spirit are likely to get eaten up. And you’ll likely keep taking forced pay cuts over the next couple years. Outside of the system, you must get ongoing business skills. If you don’t, you will fail. And that’s a massive loss to those of us who need you. Your patients need you and you deserve a rewarding life for the work you do. How do you get business help? Well, one way is to join us for one of our upcoming free webinars, where we’ll teach you how we succeeded in both helping people and creating a great business:
The reality is this modern medical system is like the Titanic. Even if we see icebergs, it’s too big to turn fast enough and avoid them.
So, it’s up to those of us in the system to take control as much as we can.
There’s anger, sadness and shame on both sides of the fence. If the patients and practitioners can get on the same side and choose to help each other or only invest their time and money into those who respect each other… change may come faster than anyone expects.
This is what I’m up to in this world…
Creating world-class resources to empower the patients of the world – to challenge them to take back responsibility and learn everything they can about their bodies and how to be a healthy human…
And creating world-class resources to empower health practitioners and everyone in the health field – to challenge them to have the best healing skills possible and give them the best marketing, business and community I know how.
If you’re a health practitioner, I really want you to join us for one of our upcoming webinars. It will change your life… in ways so good you can’t even imagine (more to come on that).
And if you’re a patient, don’t give up… begin taking action on the 3 steps above.
Whew, this has been a long time coming and I know not everyone agrees with me… so let’s talk about it in the comments below? I’d like to hear what you like or don’t like about these ideas. It’s very important to our work.
By Steve Wright