Is there a new role for NPs on the horizon?

  1. I was just reading this article in the news today:

    According to the article, there has been a 50% decline in the number of med school grads who choose to practice family medicine between 1997 and 2005. That's a pretty big drop by any standard. The two main reasons for the decline are that: 1. Family practice physicians do not appreciate that the HMOs are in control, and 2. There isn't much money to be made in family medicine anymore.

    According to this Medscape article, 35% of physicians in the US are over age 55 and will be retiring soon.

    The physicians are hoping that Medicare will increase reimbursement payments for their services but I doubt that will happen. If anything, the government will more likely be looking for ways to cut the payments further, just as private insurers have been doing.

    This sucks for primary care physicians, but, quite possibly, it may mean new opportunities for NPs
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    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 314; Likes: 46


  3. by   Altra
    I agree - I believe the proportion of family practice medicine provided by MDs/DOs is going to continue to decrease, despite some aggressive efforts to entice more med students into family practice.

    The economic realities cannot be ignored: I just had a conversation with a family practice MD I know recently, who complained that she tries to be a "good doc" caring for the whole person - maybe spending 45 minutes to an hour with a patient talking about meds, lifestyle, home safety, etc. ... but her reimbursement for that pt. may be $15.00.
  4. by   ERNP
    I read a panel discussion (I wish I could remember the link) between some physician experts about the future of medical education. There were 2 sides... 1) vigorously recruit new physicians to family practice and 2) train physicians only in specialty care and leave primary care to NPs and PAs.

    I thought it was quite provacative.

    Primary care opportunities, I believe, will continue to increase for Nps.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Good point ERNP. However, in my area of the area country - central IL - mid-level providers are not seeing the proliferation of jobs.
  6. by   gauge14iv
    NP's and PA's are in very high demand in Dallas - and not just in primary care but in specialty care as well.