Many San Diego County Physicians Plan To Leave Area, Reduce Number of Patients, Survey Finds
More than 33% of San Diego County physicians plan to leave the area in the next three to five years, and others plan to reduce the number of patients that they treat, trends that could result in an access-to-care "crisis" in the county, according to a survey conducted by the San Diego County Medical Society, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The medical society in August mailed the survey to 5,600 physicians contacted through hospital staff and membership lists. The survey found:
- About 33% of county physicians reported that they will retire, switch professions or relocate in three to five years, and 50% will reduce the number of hours that they spend on patient care.
- On average, patients in the county must wait 32 days for an appointment with an urologist, 31 days for an appointment with an obstetrician-gynecologist, 27 days for an appointment with a neurologist and 26 days for an appointment with a dermatologist.
- About 70% of county physicians accept Medicare; of those, 8% said that they will not accept Medicare in one year, and 22% said that they will not accept Medicare in three years.
- About 50% of county physicians accept Medi-Cal; of those, 26% of primary care physicians and 42% of surgeons said that they will not accept Medi-Cal in one to three years.
- About 25% of county physicians ages 36 to 45 and 29% of those ages 45 to 55 said that they have plans to retire, switch professions or relocate.