Over the weekend the New York Times did an insightful but somewhat sad profile of Dr. Ronald Sroka, who is a family practitioner in his hometown of Crofton, Maryland. The piece is part of s series titled Doctors, Inc.–A Wrenching Transition.
The article and a short accompanying video tell of Dr. Sroka’s ongoing challenges of operating his practice as a sole practitioner as costs rise and reimbursements for his services declines. Dr. Sroka would like to retire but can’t find any physicians who are willing to take over his practice and the 4,000 patients, most of whom he has treated for an average of 20 years.
The article goes on to discuss the reasons for Dr. Sroka’s predicament: market pressures and lifestyle choices that lead many younger physicians to opt for practice in larger groups or seek employment with hospitals or health systems. This is the future of health care and its kind of a shame.