In the state of Florida there is a law in the statehouse to give drug prescribing privileges to Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Supporters of the bill say there is an acute shortage of prescribers in many areas which prevents patients from getting care.
This could be attributed to the burgeoning amounts of patients who now have insurance due to the Affordable Care Act, but it appears that income potential could be decreasing the number of medical students who choose to go into a particular specialty, or focus on primary care.
According to a new report released by Medscape, the difference in income levels is growing each year and chronic care clinicians such as internists, endocrinologists, and pediatricians are falling further behind in compensation and therefore fewer students are signing up for these specialities.
The top three earners in this year’s report are orthopedists ($421,000), cardiologists ($376,000), and gastroenterologists ($370,000), while the average compensation for a primary care physician (PCP) in 2014 was $195,000 and for a specialist it was $284,000.
The three lowest earners in 2014 for patient care were pediatricians ($189,000), family physicians ($195,000), and endocrinologists and internists (both at $196,000), according to the report. Not much has changed during the past 3 years as the bottom earners in 2011 were also pediatricians, followed by primary care physicians, and endocrinologists.
This makes it very difficult to get timely appointments for patient care. Many of the endocrinologists we speak to say that increased demand from primary care prescribers giving referrals and the lack of new colleagues joining them in the speciality has made it almost impossible to see patients in a timely fashion, even if they are newly diagnosed with severe diabetes.
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With a day packed full of education, motivational tools, one-on-one sessions, and workshops, the TCOYD health fair is a great way to get your patients to take better care of their health and themselves. TCOYD.com
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Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief