Study: Physician Shortage Dire for 7 Specialties in Massachusetts
Six years after its passage of a statewide healthcare reform law, Massachusetts' physician shortage in 2012 has hit critical and severe levels for seven specialties. It's a slight improvement from last year's shortage but may be a condition suggestive of what the country may face under national healthcare reform.
The Massachusetts Medical Society's 11th Annual Physician Workforce Study identified critical shortages were in internal medicine, psychiatry, urology and neurosurgery. Severe shortages were in dermatology, family medicine and general surgery. There were eight specialties classified as in critical or severe shortage last year, but the height of the shortage was in 2008 when 12 specialties were in critical labor markets.
Here are some of the report's other main takeaways:
• Forty-one percent of physicians across all specialties indicated they have altered or limited the scope of their practice for fear of being sued. This is a decrease from the 46 percent who indicated so in the past three years.
• Roughly 40 percent of physicians said they are "very satisfied/satisfied" with their practice environment, while another 40 percent said they are "very dissatisfied/dissatisfied."
• A plurality of physicians (47 percent) said they work 40 to 59 hours per week. In 2010, 38 percent of physicians worked those hours.
• Roughly 40 percent of physicians said they are "somewhat likely" to participate in a voluntary ACO, 24.7 percent said they are "not very likely," and about 20 percent said they are "very likely." The remainder indicated they are "not likely at all."
More Articles on Healthcare Reform and Physicians:Survey: 55% of Physicians Support Romney, 36% Obama
Survey Finds Few Physicians Optimistic About ACOs
Survey: Percent of Cardiovascular Practices Employed by Hospitals Tripled 2007-2012
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2012. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.