Many may think the doctor’s work is done when he or she leaves the exam room, but a new study shows that primary care physicians are burdened by hours of additional unpaid work. As healthcare reform prepares to pour millions of patients into the healthcare system, many primary care physicians are concerned that their unpaid workload will only increase.
This unpaid work is even further compounded by the fact that primary care physicians currently earn about half the salary of specialists. With rising unpaid work and a small paycheck, it’s not surprising that medical students are swarming to specialty fields and running from primary care. This problem will only cripple the healthcare system, which will need more primary care physicians to meet the needs of an estimated 30 million newly insured people in the coming years.