Do You Really Believe 83% of Docs Are Considering Quitting?

I was going to ignore this, but too many of you are asking me about it:

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

I don’t even know where to start with this. How about with the DPMA? Here is their “non-partisan” stance on the PPACA:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed in to law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Doctor Patient Medical Association believes this law, with over 12,000 pages of new laws and regulations giving sweeping new powers to political appointees like the HHS Secretary and IRS is detrimental to the medical freedom of medical professionals and patients.

It is DPMA’s position that PPACA is the Destruction Of Our Medicine, attempting to insert the government and bureaucrats between the relationship and decisions of medical professional and their patient.

By the way, their “position” makes the acronym DOOM. Unbiased!

Getting past that, their methodology is not very detailed. Their response rate is small. Their questions are oddly phrased and not symmetric.

Let’s get past even that. Let’s just take the top line result. Does it pass the smell test? Do you really believe that 83% of doctors are considering quitting because of the ACA? Do you really believe that only 17% of docs are NOT considering quitting? Really?

Anecdotally, I’ve heard of no physicians whatsoever who are quitting; I work with a lot of docs. But let’simagine my experience is abnormal. Remember that about 20% of physicians make an earning placing them in the top 1% of the country. Medicine, above any other profession, is more likely to earn you that much. This survey would have you believe that more than 80% of us are willing to throw all that away, just because of the ACA.

What will all those doctors do? If you believe what they complain about in the media, they’re just squeaking by. They’re not “wealthy”. The job market is terrible, no? What magic high-paying jobs do you think they will get?

Or is it more likely this is just posturing from a potentially biased group, and not a real prediction of what will acually occur?

[Cross-posted at The Incidental Economist]