You only can squeeze down reimbursement so far:
Here’s what one physician wrote to me about her efforts to stay afloat last year: “We pinched pennies. We cut back. We let go of employees. We cut back our benefits plans. We did all that we could to save money. And all the while, working like a dog, staying here until 7 at night, doing surgery one day a week and seeing patients in my office five other days each week, I still only managed to make a salary of $20,000 last year!” She’s actually lucky. I routinely speak to physicians who can’t pay themselves anything at all after paying for staff and rent.
The slow death of primary care continues. Take this disheartened physician who is considering quitting 2 years out of residency:
I have only been in practice for two years, and based on what is going on in medicine, I am seriously thinking about quitting the profession. You make a lot of sacrifices going to medical school and doing a residency. You should be able to do what you love and make a living at it at the same time. That is unfortunately not the case. Our costs keep going up, especially malpractice insurance, and our reimbursement keeps going down.