Current Events

Primary Care vs. Specialists

The Wall Street Journal (“Doctor Shortage…“) reports that the percentage of medical residents choosing to practice in the primary care arena is falling.  This is likely due to the fact that specialists make significantly more money the primary care doctors. 

Arnold Kling of EconLog has an interesting point as primary care physicians shortages and primary care doctors’ low pay:

  • “The focus of the story is on how the reduction in primary care doctors hurts the Massachusetts health plan. I think that is almost beside the point. My guess is that this is another instance in which American medical care is allocated at the margin in a cost-ineffective way. If insurance companies were not paying so much of the bill, people would not see so many specialists. Specialist income would decline, and more physicians would stay in primary care.”