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Sermo physicians report shift from doctor-led primary care

The traditional experience of the solo doctor providing individualized care to patients is shifting. A recent article by the Wall Street Journal projects that “in the future, patients will be more likely to see a team of health-care professionals whose compensation is linked to keeping patients healthy. That team may be led by a doctor, but with a growing shortage of physicians, a nurse practitioner is increasingly likely to be in charge. Patients will also receive more care virtually and in non-traditional settings such as drugstore clinics.”

In a poll of 530+ global Sermo physicians, 74% said they are already seeing this shift in their own regions. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortfall of as many as 55,200 physicians going into primary care by 2033. More medical students are now opting for higher paying specialties, while other health professionals trained in the field have been on a steady climb. 77% of physicians said they are very concerned by this trend. 

Ninety percent of Sermo physicians agree with the American Academy of Family Physicians’ statement that there is no equivalency between a doctor and someone who isn’t one, and that patient safety requires doctors to be in the lead in medical teams. When asked about the growing trend for nurse practitioners to have the right to practice independently, 79% said they do not agree with this. 

In response to the news that the Walgreens Boots Alliance and VillageMD plan to open 500 to 700 physician-led clinics attached to Walgreens drugstores in 30-plus markets over the next 5 years, this is how Sermo physicians responded: 

I do not support this plan.
I am concerned, but I understand why it makes sense for both doctors and patients.
I support this plan.

Here is more of what Sermo physicians have to say—in their own words…