Scarcity of Alzheimer’s Doctors Harms Patients and Wastes Resources – Jason Karlawish, MD

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In the February 9, 2017 issue of Forbes, PRC Researcher Jason Karlawish, MD, says the lack of qualified Alzheimer’s doctors is a significant problem in US healthcare.  “We need doctors to care for the millions of people who are losing their capacity to exercise their autonomy or who are at risk of losing that capacity. How will we do this?”   Asking ” how did one of the wealthiest and most technologically innovative nations reach this situation?” Karlawish identifies several impediments which drive providers away from specializing in Alzheimer’s. “Doctors are actors in the healthcare system they practice in. They’re economic actors. They follow the money. Better and more expensive drugs and diagnostic tests are one way to incentivize more physicians to become Alzheimer’s doctors. Loan repayments and affordable medical school tuition could help as well. But why should the costs of technologies and tuition drive this? We need to incentivize doctors to take care of patients. We should focus on quality care, and we need to do this now.”