There is a doctor shortage.
I’m not talking about the doctor shortage in Third World and developing nations. I’m talking about a doctor shortage right here in the United States.
We don’t have enough doctors to treat our sick people, and that shortage is forecast to greatly increase in the coming years while the number of sick people continues to rise!
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that within two years the United States will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that by 2025 – just 12 years from now – the shortage of doctors in America will exceed 100,000.
To exacerbate the problem, when the Affordable Care Act becomes fully implemented in 2015, this new law will extend coverage to more than 30 million additional individuals.
Once that happens, experts say there is little that can be done to close the doctor shortage gap.
5 Consequences of the Doctor Shortage
It typically takes close to 10 years to train a doctor. Even if medical schools were able to increase enrollment significantly, it would be impossible to produce enough new doctors to treat the millions of newly insured individuals as well as care for the rapidly expanding aging population.
For an example of how difficult it will be to produce enough new doctors to meet the need, we can take a look at the Harvard School of Medicine (HSM).
HSM accepts only 165 new medical school admissions yearly. Not all of those accepted will graduate, and not all of those who do graduate will set up a practice and become practicing physicians.
A shortage of qualified, practicing physicians to treat patients will result in
- Longer waiting lines
- Traveling longer distances to obtain treatment
- Overuse of emergency rooms
- Higher costs
- People being forced to forgo treatment or possibly even being refused treatment (The Affordable Care Act makes provision for the refusing of treatment for some individuals under certain conditions.)
The problem is being made worse for patients because more than 50% of primary care doctors have stopped accepting new Medicaid patients.
What has been the result?
Some patients — who are covered for FREE care under the Affordable Care Act — may not be able to find a physician willing to treat them.
What’s The Solution?
If a solution is to be found, we must look beyond the treatment of symptoms.
The real solution to the health care crisis in America is to look for what is causing the physical problems Americans are experiencing. If we could determine the cause and eliminate those causes, there would no longer be a need to increase the doctor population or increase the use of drugs and other medical modalities because there would be no sick people for the doctors to treat.
Doctors Were Never the Answer
After many years of preparation to be a medical doctor, most doctors are trained solely to treat the symptoms of disease. Typically, they are not encouraged to look for the cause of the physical problems patients come to them to resolve.
It’s shocking, but the healing results experienced by those who seek out a medical doctor today are no better than when Jesus walked this earth some 2,000 years ago. Here is an account of those healing results as recorded in the gospel of Mark:
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.”
~ Mark 5:25-26
For centuries, we can see that doctors are not the answer to health problems. As in the days when the book of Mark was written, people will spend all the money they have on toxic treatments and toxic medication in vain — or, even worse as the Bible says, they “grow worse.”
Friends, if the means of restoring health to sick people today is not getting any better results than the results obtained by physicians 2,000 years ago, do you think it may finally be time to look for the reason?
We cannot continue to do the same thing we have been doing for the past 2,000 years and expect a different result! That’s the definition of insanity!
Diet News That Can Save Your Life
Allow me to interject some recently released information before we move on.
A few days before writing this Health Tip, I came across something that vividly illustrates where the health care problem in America really lies.
In fact, the solution should be so self-evident, that a person would have to deny common sense to refuse to see it.
On Monday, March 11, 2013, in many publications across the land, Americans awoke to read the headline: “Just One Fatty Meal Can Bring On A Heart Attack.” The article went on to say:
“Just one high-fat, high-sugar meal can trigger a biochemical cascade, causing inflammation of blood vessels and immediate, detrimental changes to the nervous system, according to the paper, published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.”
~ Time Magazine
These reports came from study findings released at the Canadian Cardiovascular Conference. In the new study, scientists compared the immediate effects of different diets on the arteries. Participants were fed a high-fat meal, and others a heart-healthy Mediterranean-style meal.
After each meal, the participants were given ultrasound tests to assess the function of their coronary arteries. The tests showed that immediately after the high-fat meal, the participants’ coronary arteries were 24% less open than after the Mediterranean meal.
This isn’t the only study to track biological changes after eating a single high-fat meal.
In 2007, another research group learned that consuming high levels of saturated fat over several weeks caused adverse cardiovascular changes in 30 healthy young women.
“Changes after eating a high-fat meal not only involve the heart’s coronary arteries, but also the consistency of the blood itself”, says study leader Chauncey Crandall, M.D.
The lesson from the research is not that one steak dinner will kill you, but that such a meal does have an effect on your body, and that eating high-fat food on a daily basis is a prescription for heart disease. As Dr. Crandall says, “This type of lifestyle is not only unacceptable, but it can kill you.”
Prevention is the Key
What a person eats is the determining factor regarding their health and the physical problems that they experience. Does a doctor have control over what a patient decides to eat? Of course not.
As a result, doctors and other healthcare providers have absolutely no ability to prevent health problems from developing.
Understanding this relationship between diet and health is the key to understanding the problem before us. The only viable solution is prevention — prevention becomes paramount in eliminating physical problems from the church and our society in general. It also becomes the key in solving the health care crisis in America today.
But if medical doctors are not versed in the causes and prevention of disease, to whom can a person turn?
Look in the mirror!
Only the individual can prevent physical problems from developing!
As long as people continue to consume a diet and live a lifestyle that causes physical problems, there will be a steady stream of people seeking the assistance of a doctor in restoring their health, and thus there will be an ongoing shortage of medical doctors to treat them.
Friends, the real solution is not more doctors or more government programs; the real solution is to take personal responsibility for one’s own health.
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high we will continue to share how you can personally safeguard your health with changes in your diet and lifestyle. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.