Malcolm Gladwell: Tell People What It's Really Like To Be A Doctor | Forbes

Gladwell discussing the clerical side of being a physician:

You don’t train someone for all of those years of medical school and residency, particularly people who want to help others optimize their physical and psychological health, and then have them run a claims-processing operation for insurance companies.

Such a profound insight from someone who is not a doctor.

I think in the future, well-designed electronic medical records will help cut down on some of these clerical burdens. There’s absolutely no reason why the bulk of data insurance companies want can’t be automatically generated from electronic records. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have done this yet (and current EMRs are poorly designed).

If we continue along our current trajectory, two things will happen:

  • More and more doctors will take salaried positions within large practices/hospitals in order to avoid the backbreaking work of running an independent small business in addition to practicing medicine.
  • Direct primary care will become more and more popular so that neither doctors nor patients will have to deal with insurance bureaucracies.