In 2014, the Chicago Tribune estimates that there will be 26 million more doctor visits due to the increase in people receiving health care under the Affordable Care Act. With this many people now eligible for health care and seeking a physician’s care, doctors visits are likely to change. According to Forbes magazine, “Experts agree there are not going to be enough primary care physicians – family doctors, internists and pediatricians – to care for all of the newly insured patients so hospitals and clinics are staffing up with allied health professionals.” Hospitals are currently hiring more nurse practitioners (NP) and physician’s assistants (PA) to prepare for this increase in patients. This means that people scheduling appointments with their doctors may not actually get to see their primary care physician and instead will be greeted by a PA or NP. Waiting rooms will be more crowded since there are more patients, and patient care may be rushed since doctors will be attempting to seek more patients in less time. Furthermore, it may also be more difficult to get an appointment with your doctor since he or she will be attending to many more patients daily, thus extending the time it takes to seek medical attention.
In the end, it will be more challenging to get an appointment with a doctor, the lines will be longer in the hospital, and one may not end up seeing their actual doctor after all of the waiting.