How will health care look and feel like in the year 2020 when we have the "physician shortage" that Dr. Cooper predicted in his shaky and dubious study? When we supposedly will be short 200,000 physicians?
Will people die in the streets? Lines in the ER around the block? People traveling hundreds of miles for cancer treatment? Mortality at an all time high? Women delivering babies in buses?
I believe those will be everyday scenarios - or not?
Well, this kind of future is very easy to foresee. It actually is already here. In Oklahoma. Just fly there and look around, go to the offices and hospitals, get treated at modern and pleasant ERs, have attentive doctors and nurses take care of you.
Oklahoma has numbers that Dr.Cooper foresees as catastrophic. The physician density is 1.6 for 1000 Americans. The US average is 2.6. The Massachusetts average is 4.3!!! And that is why you hear the whining of "shortage of primary care physicians" the loudest in Massachusetts.
Strangely, you do not hear "help, we are sinking into a health care crisis" screams from Oklahoma.
Does that make you a little skeptical of the "looming disaster"? It sure should.
Dr.Cooper is very wrong in important points, as I have laid out in a previous blogpost. I can only suspect who supports him and why...
It is time that the AMA, ACOG and other professional societies take a better look at his numbers and consider modern developments such as the exploding "Minute Clinics", growing telemedicine and the progress in genetics. And for the notion that the "coming generation of physicians is not willing to work hard", that is the old stuff that parents have ben saying about their children's generation for ages. Ahhh the good old times. Everything was better back then, right?
The "looming physician shortage" is blatant nonsense. In fact, we have an oversupply of physicians since the mid eighties. The proof is simple and does not require any fancy studies: Our incomes have gone down continuously since that time.