Physicians WatchList Identifies Five Issues Impacting Practicing Clinicians

The Physicians Foundation has created a 2012 Physicians WatchList that highlights several issues affecting practicing physicians today. The list is based on research conducted by the Foundation earlier this year. Physicians and their practices should be aware of the following issues:

Many clinicians are choosing hospital and group settings versus private practice. Job security has become a major factor in the practice of medicine. Physicians will need to carefully assess their individual circumstances and determine the practice environment that best meets their needs and those of their patients.

There is an increase in regulations and administrative responsibilities. With the growth of these changes, physicians will need to work toward minimizing administrative barriers to continue providing quality patient care.

There is a growing shortage of physicians. This impacts the medical profession’s ability to serve patients across key specialties and geographies. Now is the time to evaluate how physicians can optimize their time to accommodate the needs of their patients.

Taking on leadership roles is not a passing trend. It is important that physicians acquire new types of non-medical leadership skills to be effective in business management roles. This will allow for the continuity of the medical practice and physician-patient relationship.

Higher quality care is becoming more prominent. This adds extraordinary stress on physicians due to increased reporting, problematic reimbursement and high potential liability. It is important that clinicians learn how to balance the changing healthcare environment.

The intention of the WatchList is to prepare you for and to assist you through these changes. The NCMS will continue to provide updates on these issues and to help you and your practice face these obstacles head on.


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  • John G. Steel

    The trend towards physician employment by hospitals and/or large groups will hurt the rual communities greatly. Older physicians can not recruit to replace themselves. People have to travel farther from their homes to get medical care. Many people will simply go without medical care. I think that these Federally-driven (by reimbursement policies, excessive regulation, etc) trends are deplorable. JGS

  • Sandra Brown

    Amusingly, for all the hair-tearing about the physician shortage, the federal government and all other administrative entities and insurance companies keep piling more work on us that has nothing to do with direct patient care. EMR has permanently decreased productivity by 20% in those practices who attempt to maintain quality and patient interaction as opposed to quantity and computer interaction.