The Physicians Foundation in the News

Latest coverage and announcements from The Physicians Foundation.


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Most Medical, Nursing Students Don't Plan to Treat Patients, Survey Finds

A majority of medical and nursing students said they view their studies as a “stepping-stone” to a broader non-patient-facing healthcare career, according to a global survey from Elsevier Health.

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The mental health crisis among doctors is a problem for patients

Twice a week, Boston-area psychiatrist Elissa Ely volunteers at a US anonymous help line for physicians in crisis. The calls she takes are often from people in deep distress — physicians having panic attacks, abusing substances or alcohol, facing divorce or alienation from family and friends. A typical call, she said, could be from “an ER doctor who vomits before she goes in for her shifts; despair and depression; suicidality.”

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Physician-owned hospitals could save $1B per year

Physician-owned hospitals saved $1.1 billion in 2019 compared to traditional facilities, according to a recent report analyzing the cost of 20 of the most expensive conditions for Medicare patients.

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Under pressure that hasn’t eased since the pandemic, some health care workers are preparing to strike

As the US hovers on the edge of another season of respiratory viruses, some health care workers are preparing to swap their medical instruments for picket signs, sounding the alarm about a staffing crisis that they say is already affecting patient care.

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'If you seek help, you risk your career': Physician suicide needs solutions, not silence

High rates of physician suicide are a devastating reality that require multiple solutions, according to experts.September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and Sep. 17 was National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization,

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Doctors aren’t the only ones battling burnout. Many medical students are hurting.

While more physicians are struggling with burnout, it appears that a growing number of tomorrow’s doctors are experiencing their own battles with mental health. The Physicians Foundation’s 2023 Survey of America’s Current and Future Physicians found that six in 10 doctors report feelings of burnout. That’s up from four out of 10 doctors in 2018.

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Up-and-coming physicians even more burned out than their senior colleagues, survey finds

Recent survey data from The Physicians Foundation suggest residents and medical students are no strangers to the widespread burnout weighing down America’s physician workforce.Among more than 2,100 respondents in various stages of their medical careers polled this June, medical students reported lower overall well-being than their senior colleagues.

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Addressing drivers of health: An introduction to Let’s Take 5

In spring 2023, The Physicians Foundation launched its new campaign, Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health (DOH). Foundation President Gary Price, MD, MBA, discusses the movement and why physicians must assist patients with drivers of health if they want successful outcomes. Physicians overwhelmingly recognize health care must address drivers of health, also known as social drivers or social determinants of health, which are social and economic factors outside traditional clinical care.

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Burnout threatens primary care workforce and doctors' mental health

Charleston, South Carolina — Melanie Gray Miller, a 30-year-old physician, wiped away tears as she described the isolation she felt after losing a beloved patient.

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Physicians Foundation builds on efforts to address health equity

Many doctors are frustrated with the short amount of time they have to spend with patients, and some physicians say that has an impact on assessing factors that could be affecting their health.

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A disappointing report card for primary care

NOT AN ‘F,’ BUT … The first report card on the state of the nation’s primary health care is out today, and it’s nothing to brag about. The report comes in response to a 2021 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which called for a scorecard to be developed to monitor — and improve — America’s primary care.

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To Advance A National Health And Equity Infrastructure, Measure Drivers of Health

Twenty years ago, the Institute of Medicine published Crossing the Quality Chasm, a call to close the quality and safety gaps in health care, which spurred a proliferation of quality-focused measures, initiatives, departments, and organizations. While the health care sector has arguably made gains in patient safety, we are no healthier as a nation, with pervasive racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.

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Morale deteriorates in medical profession as doctors deal with staffing challenges, administrative burdens

Staffing challenges and administrative burdens are increasing as morale plummets among doctors. The Physicians Foundation published its “2022 Physician Survey: Part 3,” which assesses the state of physician practices and strategies to improve it.

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As Giant Hospitals Get Bigger, an Independent Doctor Feels the Pinch

SANFORD, N.C. — Before the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Andrew Bush treated as many as 1,000 patients every month in his orthopedics practice. Now he worries about going bankrupt.

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CMS needs to include measures for social drivers of health

Every day, physicians encounter patients in their practices who show the toll of skipping meals to feed their children, or who cannot refrigerate their insulin because they have no electricity. They know that improving their patients’ health is achievable only by addressing these and other social drivers of health (SDOH), but are often limited in their ability to do that.

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Physician Burnout Continues at Record Levels, One-Third Feel 'Hopeless'

The state of physician wellbeing remained low 2 years into the pandemic, survey data showed. One in three physicians reported feeling hopeless or that they had no purpose, according to the second part of the 2022 Survey of America’s Physiciansopens in a new tab or window from the nonprofit Physicians Foundation.

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Here's how university health centers are ‘adopting’ households to fight health disparities

When Marie Antoine was diagnosed with lupus and kidney failure, she was overwhelmed by the complexities of her illnesses. But that changed when a team of health sciences students and a professor started visiting her home in North Miami Beach.

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My longtime doctor is retiring. It feels like an essential lifeline is being cut.

This isn’t my story alone; many people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are similarly undergoing this kind of wrenching transition. A decade from now, at least 40 percent of the physician workforce will be 65 or older, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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Prescribing tomatoes and carrots could help some Americans eat better

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Audrey Oliver knows the difference between a store-bought tomato and one fresh from the farm. Nowadays, the fresh ones show up on her doorstep every other week.

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Medical students haven’t been deterred by the stress of Covid on hospitals and staff — they are eager to help

As we head into the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, health-care workers have been applauded as heroes for fighting an unpredictable and deadly virus. It’s taken a toll on them physically and mentally, yet applications to medical schools for the 2021 academic year have surged by 18%, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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“I Cried Every Day”: Healthcare Workers Explain Why They’re Leaving Their Jobs

Tanya Wildes, MD, is one of those doctors who was born, not made. She’s known that medicine was her calling since she was four years old, when she instinctively reset her sister’s dislocated finger (please don’t try it at home, she warns). And yet last August, after 12 years of practicing medicine, she decided to resign from her job as an oncologist in St. Louis, MO — and, at least for now, leave medicine altogether.

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Primary care offices struggling to survive during Covid-19

Cormay Caine misses a full day of work and drives more than 130 miles round trip to take five of her children to their pediatrician. The Sartell, Minnesota, clinic where their doctor used to work closed in August. Caine is one of several parents who followed Dr. Heather Decker to her new location on the outskirts of Minneapolis, an hour and a half away. Many couldn’t get appointments with swamped nearby doctors for months.

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Thousands of Doctors’ Offices Buckle Under Financial Stress of COVID

Cormay Caine misses a full day of work and drives more than 130 miles round trip to take five of her children to their pediatrician. The Sartell, Minnesota, clinic where their doctor used to work closed in August.

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Health care reform: The ‘new normal’ needs to go beyond clinical care

This is an extraordinarily difficult time to be a physician. As the leaders of state medical societies and board members of The Physicians Foundation, we represent primary care physicians and specialists across the country, in blue and red states. We’ve witnessed the Covid-19 crisis cost hundreds of thousands of lives and endanger many of our colleagues.

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Doctors Are Calling It Quits Under Stress of the Pandemic

Two years ago, Dr. Kelly McGregory opened her own pediatric practice just outside Minneapolis, where she could spend as much time as she wanted with patients and parents could get all of their questions answered.

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The pandemic poses risks for older doctors. Some are retiring early in response.

On April 3, anesthesiologist ­Michael Peck worked a 12-hour hospital shift intubating critically ill covid-19 patients about to go on ventilators. Despite being gowned, gloved and masked, he was terrified. “I’ve never been that scared,” he recalls. “When it was over, I said to myself, ‘This is crazy. I’m done.’ ”

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Nearly 60% of physicians report burnout since COVID-19

Physicians are reporting feelings of burnout at high levels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from the not-for-profit Physicians Foundation.

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Tackling poverty in a coronavirus-induced economic downturn: Is it too risky or the right thing to do?

RALEIGH, N.C. – Jeremiah Newson, 25, moved here from Chicago last year to be closer to his girlfriend and baby. He found a homeless shelter that helped him get three meals, transportation and medical care.

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Who's Hit Hardest By COVID-19? Why Obesity, Stress And Race All Matter

As data emerges on the spectrum of symptoms caused by COVID-19, it’s clear that people with chronic health conditions are being hit harder. While many people experience mild illness, 89% of people with COVID-19 who were sick enough to be hospitalized had at least one chronic condition.

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From house calls to drive-thru visits, independent physicians adapt amid COVID-19 crisis

When Dr. Beth Oller sees the newborns in her care, they’re usually cooing and crying in her office. But in a pandemic, it might be safer for her to go to them. Oller does not quite fit the image of a black bag-toting doctor making house calls, but as the COVID-19 pandemic puts an unprecedented strain on the healthcare system across the country, some physicians are adapting to new ways to protect their patients and themselves.

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During a Pandemic, an Unanticipated Problem: Out-of-Work Health Workers

As hospitals across the country brace for an onslaught of coronavirus patients, doctors, nurses and other health care workers — even in emerging hot spots — are being furloughed, reassigned or told they must take pay cuts.

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Remote-Care Companies Scale Up to Combat Coronavirus Threat

Soaring demand for Telehealth and remote-care tools is prompting digital-health startups to ramp up quickly and could propel wider use of their technologies well after the new coronavirus is contained.

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The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit seeking to advance the work of practicing physicians and help them facilitate the delivery of high-quality health care to patients. As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, The Physicians Foundation is steadfast in strengthening the physician-patient relationship, supporting medical practices’ sustainability and helping physicians navigate the changing health care system. The Physicians Foundation pursues its mission through research, education and innovative grant making that improves physician wellbeing, strengthens physician leadership, addresses drivers of health and lifts physician perspectives.

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