Sunday, March 3, 2013

David Henderson Post On The Supply Of Doctors, My Comment

Posted by Milton Recht:

My comment to "Garett Jones on the Supply of Doctors" by David Henderson:
The current structure of schooling, training and laws creates significant barriers to entry to those who would like to be doctors, limits the availability of medical services, increases costs and unnecessarily forces individuals to use doctors.

Look at actual usage of medical services, and see where doctor involvement can be eliminated or significantly lessened. For example, eliminate the need for prescriptions for commonly used non-addictive medicines. Why does a woman need a prescription for birth control? Or a man for ED medicine? Why can't someone with a bad sore throat get an antibiotic for strep without seeing a doctor? or antibiotic drops for an eye infection such as pink eyes?

Expand the role of nurses, nurse practitioners, surgical assistants, and pharmacists and without the need that they be under doctor supervision or part of a physician practice.

Reduce immigration restrictions on foreign trained doctors and reduce requirements that they do US residencies. Instead require posting of medical schooling and residency and let the public choose.

Just like we have different levels of college education, Associate, BA, Masters, PhD, let's do the same for medicine. Can also do the same for medical training as we currently have, e.g., Board Certification. For example, EMTs are not doctors but are adequately medically trained to handle emergencies.

The US can easily eliminate unneeded demand for doctors and increase the availability of competent medical providers through legal and licensing changes. It would allow those that want to medically help people do so at many levels of training and it would eliminate unnecessary demand for expensive overly trained medical personnel.

These and other changes would go a long way to eliminate barriers to entry and the supply demand imbalance between medical services providers and medical services users. The changes would also reduce costs and eliminate the guild effect of the medical profession

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