More doctors say government regulations and third-party interference are the largest barriers to good health care for patients, according to the preliminary results of Physicians Practice’s 2017 Great American Physician Survey.
The magazine polled 826 physicians and found that 40 percent feel this way about regulation, compared to 37 percent in last year’s survey. In addition, 40 percent give the Trump administration a failing grade on health care, while 12 percent give it a D; 21 percent give it a C; 18 percent give it a B; and 9 percent give it an A.
In terms of the health policy issues that physicians care about, 73 percent say they want protections for patients with pre-existing conditions; 66 percent want regulations for the cost of medications; and 51 percent want increased competition among health insurers.
Just over half (52 percent) of respondents say they want to continue practicing as they do now for the next three years, while 21 percent say they plan to retire. Other things the respondents plan to do include transitioning to a direct-pay practice (6 percent); joining an accountable care organization (3 percent); merging with other private practices (3 percent); selling their practice and become hospital employed (2 percent); or becoming a patient-centered medical home (3 percent).
Given the chance to go back in time and consider another career path, 46 percent say they would do everything roughly the way they did it the first time; 19 percent say they would choose a specialty that provides greater work-life balance; 17 percent say they would choose a profession other than health care; 13 percent say they would choose a more financially lucrative specialty; and 5 percent say they would choose some other career in health care as a non-physician.
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of physicians say they would be willing to go part-time and 57 percent say they wish they worked fewer hours. When asked what they would be willing to sacrifice in order to work less, 29 percent say money; 16 percent say influence over management decisions; 10 percent say their future opportunity to become a partner; 10 percent say partnership; 7 percent say benefits; and 54 percent say nothing — they can’t afford to sacrifice anything to work less.
The full results of the survey will be published later this month.