- Physician’s assistants
- Nurse practitioners
- Healthcare aides
- Physical therapists
- Broaden the scope of practice laws (a change some doctors strongly oppose) so those other healthcare providers – like nurse practitioners -- can do more,
- Change laws that prohibit telemedicine across state lines,
- Reform liability laws that force professionals to stick with ponderous present practices only to avoid liability risks, and
- Create incentives that reward technology investments that will save money down the road.
Most important, we need to change medical school curriculum to provide training in team care to take full advantage of the capabilities of non-physicians in caring for patients. Instead of building more medical schools and expanding our doctor pool, we should focus on increasing the productivity of existing physicians and other health care workers while incorporating new technologies and practices that make care more efficient. With doctors, as with drugs or surgery, more is not always better.
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