Doctor-Patient Relationship Breakdown Leads to Physician Dissatisfaction

The following statistics are from the 2013 Physician Outlook and Practice Trends, a report published by Jackson Healthcare.

Filling The Void

Physician discontent appears to be creating a void in the healthcare field. Physicians are preparing to leave medicine early either through retirement or a change in their career field. Those who plan to remain in practice feel disconnected from their patients because of increasing regulatory and reimbursement restraints.

This harrowing data continues to demonstrate that the current healthcare environment is leading to physician dissatisfaction. Doctors are spending so much time navigating regulatory obstacles and reimbursement restraints that they have increasingly less and less time and energy to devote to their passion — taking care of patients.

Once an integral part of our nation’s fabric, the patient/physician relationship is being broken as the control of payment shifts from consumers to insurance companies and third party payers.  This shift in healthcare culture is causing dissatisfied doctors, dissatisfied patients, and expensive healthcare.


  • 77% of physician respondents have definite plans to practice medicine in the next year.  This is a statistically significant decrease from the 86% planning to continue medicine in 2012.
  • When asked for the likelihood they would encourage a young person to enter the medical field as a physician, 59 percent reported being unlikely to recommend the medical profession.
  • 42% of physician respondents reported being dissatisfied, with 17% saying they were very dissatisfied in their medical practice.
  • More physicians are employed by hospitals in 2013 than 2012. Between 2012 and 2013, solo practitioners decreased from 21 to 15 percent. During the same period, hospital employed physicians increased from 20 to 26%

Quotes From Doctors:

  • “Doctors are now called ‘providers’. I didn’t go to ‘provider school’.  Insurance decisions really inhibit me from practicing medicine.  I’m always changing medications, labs, X-rays based on someone else’s decisions.”
  • “Too much of the work is paperwork, which does not enhance the quality of patient care.   I feel pressured to increase the number of patients I see, but this makes me feel like I would be practicing assembly line medicine, which is not why I chose a medical career.”

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