Connecticut Physicians Dissatisfied With Work Conditions

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Nearly one in three Connecticut physicians are considering changing jobs or moving out of the state because they are dissatisfied with practicing medicine in the state, according to a recent survey published on Wednesday in the journal Connecticut Medicine, the Hartford Courant reports. The survey, which was commissioned by the Connecticut State Medical Society, involved 1,077 practicing physicians in the state.

According to the survey, 19.3% of responding physicians said they were considering a career change and 10.8% said they were planning to leave the state. Physicians cited long hours, high medical malpractice insurance premiums, restrictions imposed by managed care companies, and the high cost of living and working in Connecticut as reasons for their dissatisfaction.

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Medical society leaders said the survey results should serve as a guide for legislative changes that could improve the practice environment for physicians in the state. The changes could include reducing malpractice insurance premiums and expanding health coverage for low-income residents. William Handleman, a kidney specialist and president of the medical society, said primary care physicians experience the most difficult working conditions because they earn less money than specialists and conduct more business with managed care companies.

Handleman recently asked the General Assembly to consider a loan forgiveness program that would eliminate medical school debt for primary care physicians who agree to practice in underserved areas of the state for four years. Angelo Carrabba, immediate past president of the medical society, recommended that the state increase physician payments for public health insurance so it does not cost physicians money to treat low-income patients (Waldman, Hartford Courant, 9/24).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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