How do we get more doctors interested in becoming primary care physicians? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
A few thoughts:
- Don't require an undergraduate degree before medical school. We're currently asking people to go into a relatively lower-paying field after accumulating (a minimum of) EIGHT years of educational debt and 3 years of (rapidly growing) interest during residency training for Family Medicine/Internal Medicine/Pediatrics...why?
Virtually no other country in the world outside of the U.S. requires an undergraduate degree to enter medical school, and yet they are still quite capable of producing excellent physicians. Multiple U.S. institutions have already proven that lacking an undergraduate degree in science means nothing when it comes to the success of M.D./D.O. candidates passing their licensing exams, meaning you can start from scratch and still become a very passable physician.
It's simple: cutting initial debt burden in half would greatly reduce the mental/financial barrier to choosing primary care, since physician reimbursement is highly unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future.
While these suggestions are a significant deviation from the current norm in U.S. medical education, I firmly believe that the system as-is has become outdated and desperately needs a modern 21st century update.