Health system changes will stifle job growth at medical practices

LETTER — Posted March 1, 2010

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Regarding "Physician offices projected to see a decade of significant job growth" (Article, Jan. 11): As an administrator (and registered nurse) of a cardiology practice in Phoenix, I do not see any job growth in the future.

Medical practices have been laying off staff and cutting back significantly. With reimbursement rates dropping and the government cutting services for patients, there will not be a need for more staff.

We are preparing for socialized medicine -- that usually means less staff, fewer services and, unfortunately, a wake-up call to patients that things will not be anything like the past.

Currently, we pride ourselves on our customer service, patient education and providing the best medical care in Phoenix.

I am constantly overhearing physician discussions with the words "retirement," "changing occupations" and "leaving the country."

Some of our best physicians are foreign-trained and are considering picking up stakes and going back to their country of origin. This is very sad for the American medical system -- one of the best in the world. Well, was the best.

Barbara Watkins, Phoenix

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/03/01/edlt0301.htm.

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