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What lasting impact will COVID-19 have on the U.S. healthcare industry? Show more Show less
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The healthcare industry has remained relatively the same even in the face of digital transformation and wider societal change. For example, most doctors still use pagers which were first invented in 1928! However, during COVID-19, the entire healthcare system was put to the test. In many parts of the country, essential equipment such as ventilators and N95 masks were running low. Doctors and nurses were working overtime but they were denied hazard pay. Many challenges during this time revealed intricate flaws within the system. There is bound to be massive reform in the industry following the pandemic.

Systematic changes to the once rigid healthcare process will occur Show more Show less

COVID-19 has affected Americans on many levels, but US healthcare has been directly reeling from the impact. The pandemic forced health care organizations to prioritize leadership, increase hospital staff to reduce burnout, and adopt a more successful model to avoid another long-term fallout.
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The physician shortage crisis will be addressed

America is facing a shortage of physicians, which is predicted to grow in future decades. The intensive course of education and training they have to pursue combined with financial and social challenges has dissuaded many from entering the field. By remedying these factors, there will be more doctors. The COVID-19 pandemic has especially highlighted how important it is to have more doctors in the healthcare system.

The Argument

The United States is facing a shortage of physicians that is set to get even worse over the next few decades. A recent study predicted this shortage to grow to 139,000 physicians by 2033.[1]This shortage makes it harder for people to find doctors or specialists that they need and increases the difficulty of getting healthcare for underrepresented groups. This shortage is caused primarily by two factors. First, America's population demographic is shifting to an older average age. As people become older, they need more specialized and intensive healthcare, so as a larger portion of U.S. citizens are old, more physicians are needed. Secondly, a larger percentage of physicians are reaching retirement age, and not being replaced at the same rate, leading to another increase in the shortage.[1] The huge COVID-19 outbreak in America highlighted the need to focus on healthcare. Hospitals are understaffed and underfunded to deal with the virus, and it has brought a new light to the necessity and appreciation of healthcare workers. The importance of physicians in the face of the fight against COVID will lead more people to realize their necessity. This could be done in a variety of ways, including training new physicians, increasing usage of technology in healthcare, and expanding the skillset of some healthcare workers, such as nurses, to pick up the slack from the shortage.[1]

Counter arguments

COVID-19 will actually make the physician shortage worse. COVID-19 has interrupted education or clinical training periods for future physicians, which will lead to a blockage in new physicians coming into the workforce. In addition, it might lead some physicians to become burnt out or some would-be doctors to realize it isn't the job they want. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is likely to make the shortage even more extreme, not less so.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The U.S. has a shortage of physicians. [P2] This shortage is caused largely by changing age demographics. [P3] COVID-19 will show Americans the importance of healthcare, and inspire the addressing of the shortage.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] It will actually make the problem worse, not lead to its solution.

References

  1. https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/us-physician-shortage-growing
This page was last edited on Thursday, 3 Sep 2020 at 04:12 UTC

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