Uwe Reinhardt is an economics professor at Princeton and former keynote speaker at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Annual Conference sometime back in the 1990's.
Professor Reinhardt pokes holes in the "doom-and-gloom" scenario of a pending physician shortage in America and I agree.
I wrote about this fallacy on November 28th, 2011 in Can Physical Therapists Replace Physicians as Primary Care Providers in Hospitals?
I believe economic necessity will intervene as public policymakers and private payers join forces to push physical therapists into direct access roles for musculoskeletal conditions.
The time is right now. According to Professor Reinhardt:
"...the suspected physician shortage now imputed by critics of the Affordable Care Act may actually drive our health system into more efficient medical practice.
Step No. 1 in that direction, of course, would be to lighten the enormous administrative load now heaped by our health insurance system onto physicians devoted to rendering patient care."Delegating high-volume spinal pain, sports injuries and many chronic pain patients to physical therapists would relieve much of the physician workload and eliminate the physician shortage.