According to this article from The Washington Post, COVID-19 has changed the landscape of medicine in profound ways, causing some physicians to retire before they had planned and others to close their practice because so many of their patients stopped going to the doctor once the pandemic began.
A survey of more than 3,000 U.S. physicians completed by The Physicians Foundation reported 4 percent said they wouldn’t return to work, fearing for their personal health, while more than a quarter (28 percent) admitted having “serious concerns” about catching the coronavirus. Nearly half (47 percent) described their anxiety as “moderate,” while about a fifth (21 percent) said they weren’t too worried about it.
The physician survey also found that 8 percent had permanently closed their offices, and 43 percent reduced their staff. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) reported having suffered an income loss as a result of the pandemic.
The article goes on to interview various doctors who voice their concerns on the effects of the pandemic. Most are considering retiring, which in turn poses a new problem at hand: a severe shortage of physicians. Studies predict a shortage of up to 121,900 physicians by 2032. A report released in June by the Association of American Medical Colleges expects shortfalls in primary care of between 21,400 and 55,200 physicians, and in specialty care between 33,700 and 86,700 physicians.
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