Here’s a new deal we could use pretty badly.
The answer seems pretty simple to me: offerbinding contracts to med students willing to go into primary care for 10 years (generally the term of a non-consolidated student loan). Pay off their student loans for as long as they remain in primary care in an underserved area (if you don’t want to pay the loans in full, you could give them the incentive to stay in Primary Care by starting off paying 50% of their loans the first year, and increasing the percentage paid by the gov’t for each additional year they stay in primary care/underserved area). Also, I’m sure it would help keep these folks in primary care if we created a federal medical malpractice insurance policy for these primary care physicians to keep their malpractice ins. costs low.
While specialty medicine may make you rich, and therefore steal good doctors out of primary care, I’m sure that there are plenty of folks in med school who would be willing to go into primary care for at least the first decade of their practice if it meant having no (or significantly reduced) student loan paymentsand reasonable medical malpractice premiums that don’t spike every time the insurance company loses a bundle on its investments (the true reason for the high cost of med malpractice insurance, not trial lawyers).
Around the 70s, the pundits decided that there was gonna be a surplus of physicians. Of course, they were wrong (some say as they didn’t consider the effects of the expanding aging population).
Even with several new med schools opening and a push for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, there’s a shortage. Docs from the new med schools won’t hit the streets for another 7 to 10 years.
Just goes to show that the Health Care Reform so far is only payment reform. There’s a long way to go.
I’ve got a better twist on Missy’s proposal — instead of paying their student loans, offer a full scholarship contingent on staying in primary care practice in an underserved area for yea many years. Pro-rate the value of the scholarship such that early leavers wind up liable for the balance of their scholarship (such that if the government paid $500K to put you through medical school and the term of your required service is 5 years, and you leave after 4 years, you owe the government $100K).
One word of advise, SPECIALIZE!
Do not stop at PCP or GP, YOU WILL REGRET IT.
Do not be DUPED by offers from the administration in any way shape or form.
If you want balance in your life, PCP is NOT THE ANSWER, not today, tomorrow, or the next 10 years, COUNT ON IT!
pay med students school bill who want to be GPs.
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