October 27, 2015
Doctors Love to Whine about Everything
From electronic medical records, meaningful use, professional names, and now retail clinics, doctors complain and whine about almost anything of late. Maybe it is time for patients to complain about doctors. Maybe they are in the wrong profession. Yet there are doctors that have found medicine very rewarding and are not complaining, but setting examples of what works for them. They have said goodbye to dealing with the insurance companies and charge their patients a monthly fee ranging from very reasonable to utterly unreasonable.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is trying to throttle the retail health clinics and control them out of business. They want the retail clinics to be limited in the scope of practice and all but demand that they reject patients not associated with primary care providers. The ACP is calling for research that proves the damage caused by retail health clinics and antibiotics they are likely to over prescribed.
I feel this is an arrogance that shows how doctors over rate their indispensability. Retail health clinics (RHCs) serve a valuable segment of the population and should not be regulated by other jealous doctors, but by the states if necessary. Many young people use these retail health clinics occasionally without the need for a primary care physician (PCP). They may only see a doctor once in ten years and have no need for a PCP. Yet, the PCPs see this as an opportunity to force these people to see them as well.
It often makes more sense to visit a retail health clinic than go to an emergency room at a greater cost, especially for something that is not serious. I have blogged about how state medical boards are trying to control urgent care centers (UCCs) and RHCs may face the same roadblock in many states. I am betting the job protection some medical professions are promoting may well backfire on them when people have to wait up to six months for an appointment.
Emergency rooms are now over worked and this will only become worse if some state medical boards are not limited in their powers. I cannot find the exact number, but some states have taken a positive step toward the future by joining a multi-state organization in physician licensing to support telemedicine. More of this needs to be done and supported to help blunt the coming physician shortage in the future.