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Are There Too Many Specialists?

by Tera Tuten on July 1, 2014

Soliant-Are-there-too-many-specialistsWith a projected shortage of 45,000-90,000 primary care doctors by the year 2020, it’s no wonder we’re worried these days about whether there are (or will be) enough MDs for primary care.

So are there too many specialists in the U.S.? Here’s a look at both sides of the coin: [click to continue…]

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Soliant-top-jobs-no-med-schoolAccording to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median four-year cost to attend med school is close to a quarter of a million dollars.

And while a growing doctor shortage is keeping med school attractive despite the high cost and long years of training, there are many healthcare jobs that approach some physician salaries, without the extra years (and debt) associated with becoming a doctor.

Here’s a look at five high-paying medical jobs that you don’t have to go to med school for: [click to continue…]

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Soliant-2020-doctor-shortageThe American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that within the next six years, the U.S. will face a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians.

What’s more, that figure is expected to climb to 130,000 by 2025.

Here’s a look at five ways we might be able to cope with 90,000 fewer MDs than we thought we needed in the next few years:

1. Use remote medicine

Telehealth (or telemedicine) is being touted as one potential means of coping with the expected physician shortage.

Health monitoring equipment with web-based applications allows people to receive care from the comfort of their own homes, reducing doctor visits and patient expenses by linking people in remote areas to doctors in larger centers.

This can cut travel time and costs for patients by up to 58%, according to a study published in Telemedicine Journal and e-Health. [click to continue…]

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According to labor statistics, some nurses can make north of $100,000 a year. Meanwhile, according to the documentary “The Vanishing Oath,” a full-time physician in the U.S. can take home as little as $28/hr before taxes.

These are two extremes, but it brings up an interesting topic I’ve been thinking about for a while now: How much does the pay you get out of a medical job actually give you?

We often hear of 60, 70, even 80-hour work-weeks debasing the currency of some medical salaries, while overall satisfaction for other healthcare jobs is among the highest in any industry…So what does it all work out to when it comes to the quality-of-life your job lets you have?

To find out, I did some basic math with the most recent available salary, hourly pay, average weekly hours worked, and overtime data, as well as average time needed to complete training, job satisfaction, and other elements from a variety of sources.

The results were surprising, on several levels: [click to continue…]

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Nurses (including RNs)

By 2020, the U.S. government predicts a shortage of between 800,000 and one million nurses. (Close to 117,000 short in California alone.)

Before that – 2015 – the U.S. Department of Health projects that 400,000 new nurses will be needed just to fill vacancies left by retirees.

Here’s a closer look at the need, from a blog posting we did in 2009. Since then, 2012 Labor statistics project that at least 580,000 new nursing jobs will be generated in the U.S. just by 2016. And that’s just the jobs that will be generated, not the total needed to fulfill healthcare goals. [click to continue…]

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How to Ride the ‘Quality-of-Life’ Care Wave

by Tera Tuten on March 4, 2014

Roughly 75 percent of America’s annual $2.6 trillion-dollar health care budget is spent on chronic illness care.

In the interest of being proactive about stemming the tide of chronic illness, we’ve measured what sociologist Morris David Morris called The Physical Quality of Life Index, which looks at basic literacy, infant mortality, and life expectancy.

It wasn’t until 2006, though, that researchers started looking at a more refined measuring stick  for quality-of-life, or QOL (not-to-be-confused with standard-of-living) to try and better predict and prevent chronic illness.

That’s when the Happy Planet Index (HPI) – an index of human well-being and environmental impact – was introduced by the London, UK-based New Economics Foundation.

Like other modern QOL references, the index challenges well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI).

Instead, more progressive models like the Happy Planet Index might be just as concerned with literally how “happy” a patient is, or how well they fit in with their peers…how well they’re able to keep up with their children, or innovate at work. [click to continue…]

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