Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?
Are optometry and other medical professions growth bubbles about to burst just when we need more health care professionals to care for the additional patients brought into health care by the Affordable Health Care Act?
Is the cost of a professional career careening out of control? Is this cost stopping future doctors from becoming care givers?
Is optometry, medicine and law ready for sharp declines in its membership?
When it is no longer cost effective for students to become doctors, they will turn to other trades and patients will suffer.
Optometry is not at the bubble point just yet. We have repeatedly been named one of the top professions by various media sources. The Illinois College of Optometry (where I ply my trade as an optometric educator) has ten times more applicants than positions available for its entering class. And additional schools and colleges of optometry seem to be created on a weekly basis. The current "market" for optometrists seems strong with new grads able to command great starting salaries.
Will this continue? And if it does, for how long?
I love being an optometrist and optometric educator. I help people every day....and I get paid for it! I hope that optometry continues as an important part of the health care team now and in the future. Controlling educational costs will play a large part in our ability to produce optometrists for the future.
To read the full article on this topic click here http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp1310778 DM