Expanding Physician Assistants’ Roles Could Alleviate Doctor Shortage

Expanding Physician Assistants’ Roles Could Alleviate Doctor Shortage

Expanding Physician Assistants’ Roles Could Alleviate Doctor Shortage

May 16, 2024 | Salon

The average wait time for a doctor’s appointment in U.S. cities is 26 days, with rural residents often facing longer delays. According to Nicole Wadsworth, Dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, the nationwide physician shortage significantly contributes to the issue, but there is a viable solution.

Physician assistants (PAs) could play a crucial role in mitigating the shortage. Over the past decade, the number of board-certified PAs has increased by more than 75%, yet many states restrict PAs from practicing to the full extent of their training.

Physician groups often support these limitations emphasizing patient safety concerns. The financial aspect also plays a role, as insurance companies typically reimburse less for services provided by PAs compared to doctors. Allowing PAs to fully leverage their training could improve patient access to care without compromising safety.

New Doximity Study Reveals Wage Concerns Facing Healthcare Industry

May 23, 2024 | MorningStar

Doximity’s 2024 Physician Compensation Report revealed significant gender wage gaps and increased physician burnout despite an increase in overall compensation. The report includes data collected from more than 33,000 full-time U.S. physicians in 2023.

Report highlights include:

  • The average physician pay increased by 6% last year, a slight rebound from 2% in 2022.
  • In 2023, the gender pay gap for physicians dipped slightly to 23%, down from 26% in 2022 and 28% in 2021. By comparison, male physicians earn $102,000 more than female physicians.
  • Just 40% of physicians surveyed reported they are satisfied with their current salary and compensation package.
  • 75% of physicians surveyed said they’d be willing to accept, or have already accepted, less pay for more autonomy or work-life balance.
  • 81% of physicians reported they are overworked; 59% said they are considering an employment change; 30% said they’re considering early retirement.
  • 88% of physicians said that their practice has been affected by the physician shortage; 74% described the shortage as moderate or severe.

Due to the shortage, most surveyed physicians reported experiencing overwork or burnout (67%) and diminished job satisfaction (60%). Additionally, 27% of physicians stated they have faced anxiety or depression.