HEALTH

Report: Primary care physicians decreasing, giving way to retail clinic use

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK The shortage of primary care physicians is bound to escalate as long hours, lower pay, less prestige and more administrative headaches are turning doctors instead toward more lucrative subspecialties, according to a recent USA Today report.

With primary care losing its pull, retail-based health clinics will play an increasingly important role in the frontline for wellness and preventative-care programs.

The number of U.S. medical school students going into primary care has plummeted 51.8% since 1997, USA Today reported, citing data from the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP, which represents more than 93,000 physicians, predicts a shortage of 40,000 family physicians in 2020, when demand is expected to spike.

The report also states that the U.S. healthcare system has roughly 100,000 family physicians and will need nearly 140,000 in 10 years. At the core of the demand: The 78 million Baby Boomers who begin to turn 65 in 2011 and will require increasing medical care.

Furthermore, the need for more doctors will rise if Congress passes healthcare legislation that extends insurance coverage to a significant portion of the 47 million Americans who lack insurance, USA Today reported.

Finding a physician will become more difficult, waits for appointments will grow longer and more people will turn to emergency rooms, which are already overflowing, Ted Epperly, president of the AAFP, told USA Today.

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Study finds eating disorder sufferers abuse diet pills, other OTC products

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX Between 11 million and 13 million people in the United States have eating disorders, and many of them abuse or become dependent upon over-the-counter substances, the Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders announced Wednesday.

“It may surprise many people, including some healthcare providers, that over-the-counter products and supplements for dieting purposes are frequently abused by those with eating disorders,” stated Kevin Wandler, spokesman for Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders. “A full 64% of eating disorder patients abuse diet pills. The health consequences of diet pill abuse are enormous and include high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, thickening of the heart muscle and kidney damage.”

Other substances abused by individuals with eating disorders include laxatives and diuretics. Although laxatives and diuretics are not often considered drugs of abuse or dependence, individuals can become dependent on them. A recent study found that in a sample of 200 bulimics, 31% used diuretics.  

“It can take the body months to recover from laxative and other over-the-counter substance abuse,” Wandler said.

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BioNeutral Group presents lab results for antimicrobial used on swine flu

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWARK, N.J. BioNeutral Group on Thursday announced that independent lab test results conducted at Microbiotest of Sterling, Va., demonstrated that its Ygiene Consumer Grade Antimicrobial totally eradicated the novel H1N1 virus within 20 seconds of contact.

“We are well on our way to achieving our objective to have the fastest-acting, least-expensive, longest-lasting, simple-to-use, green formulations to eliminate swine flu from home, office, schools and public gathering places,” stated Andy Kielbania, chief scientist for Bioneutral Group. “This mild formulation can come into daily contact with skin and clothing, providing added protection against H1N1 and other dangerous organisms for the general population and the broader healthcare sector, as well.”

Ygiene is one of a few antimicrobials actually tested against the specific H1N1 virus, the company stated.

The formulation will be presented to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for regulatory approval, the company stated.

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