2011 Physician Survey: Attitudes on Health Reform and the Future of Medical Practice


Survey respondents unsure about reform’s long-term impact, pessimistic about the future of medicine

Most U.S. physicians believe that health reform will not increase access or reduce costs, and are unsure about its long-term impact on the system. In addition, most think that health reform will hurt their incomes and are pessimistic about the future of the medical profession.

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions recently surveyed a nationally representative random sample of U.S. physicians to understand their attitudes toward health reform and how it may impact the future practice of medicine. This report includes survey highlights, implications, and questions for health care industry stakeholders.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Most think the shortage of primary care clinicians will be worse due to increased demand for their services by newly insured consumers and the exit of many to administrative roles in health plans, hospitals, and other settings.
  • Physicians believe that evidence-based medicine improves quality of care, but achieving physician adherence may be difficult.
  • Most physicians believe that payment reforms (i.e. bundled payments, performance-based incentives) will reduce their incomes and increase their administrative costs for needed infrastructure and quality measurement.
  • All physicians support tort reform: opinions about two major options vary little (separate medical court system with binding arbitration and a victims' fund vs. caps on pain and suffering for non-economic damages).
  • Many physicians consider a practice in a large integrated health system or concierge medicine practice a viable alternative to private practice.