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As a Surgeon in the Portland Metropolitan area I can state the critical issues that will keep future generations away from medicine:
1) Reimbursement - We are constantly threatened by decreasing medicare reimbursement to the point where I get 20-30 cents for each dollar I bill. The other 70-80% of the bill is completely written off with no tax benefits or any other sort of relief for that lost income. If my practice were 100% medicare, I could not even keep the office open and pay my overhead. Therefore, the insured patients are the ones that allow me to keep my doors open.
2) Cost of training - Medical School + College costs can easily exceed $200-$400,000 in debt. Accumulating interest at 6%. And, in a 3-7 year of residency making $40-60,000, most finishing their training are in a tremendous amount of debt that takes decades to overcome. By compensating MDs less, no one will want to go into the field. We committ 10+ years of our life to minimal income with huge debts.
3) Malpractice - We absolutely need malpractice reform. Paying $30-50,000 per year is near 10-20% of physicians salary. We can not continue to finance insurance companies and their salaries along with lawyers over frivolous lawsuits.
Physicians take on tremendous responsibility, undergo incredible training, and make sacrifices to friends and family to care for patients. What we get compensated in comparison to exorbitant corporate executive salaries is simply unfair given what we go through. We accept 20-50 cents on the dollar for what we bill, what lawyer, plumber, corporate executive would say, "yeah, thats fine just pay me 50% of what I charged you". Physicians as a whole have not had an overall pay raise in two decades, this has to stop.
posted 3 years, 10 months ago
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