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The Impact of One Physician: A Note on National Doctors' Day

March 26, 2018

The Impact of One Physician: A Note on National Doctor’s Day

By Phillip Miller

Consider Dr. Charles Ozborn of Eupora, Mississippi.

Dr. Ozborn has been practicing in this small rural community of 2,200 people for over 50 years. In that span he has delivered more than 4,000 babies and made by his rough estimation over 10,000 house calls. He also has been instrumental in keeping viable the local hospital, North Mississippi Medical Center, where he still rounds on his patients.

For this and many other contributions to his community, Dr. Ozborn was named the 2018 Country Doctor of the Year by Staff Care (Staff Care, like Merritt Hawkins, is a company of AMN Healthcare). You can read more about this extraordinary physician here.

Dr. Ozborn offers a dramatic example of the remarkable impact one physician can have, something worth considering on national Doctor’s Day. Though other types of clinicians have proliferated in recent years and are playing a larger role in team-based care, physicians remain the lynchpin of health care delivery. They coordinate the care team, diagnose illness, admit patients to the hospital, develop treatment plans, orders tests, write prescriptions and perform procedures from the routine to the almost impossibly complex. And when there is an emergency, they are the ones patients and their families look to to save lives.

In addition to their vital impact on care delivery, physicians play a key role in healthcare economics. According to the January, 2018 AMA study The National Economic Impact of Physicians, each office-based physician:

  • Supports a per capita economic output of $3.1 million, up from $2.2 million in 2012. 
  • Supports 17 jobs, up from 14 jobs based on 2012 data. 
  • Pays a total of $1.4 million in wages and benefits, up from $1.1 million in 2012. 
  • Supports $126,129 in local and state tax revenues, up from $90,449 in 2012. 
  • Combined, the economic output of office-based physicians in the United States is $2.3 trillion, up from $1.6 trillion in 2012. 

In the case of Dr. Ozborn, whose activities are essential to supporting Eupora’s largest employer, it is not too much to say he is one of the pillars on which his community rests.

Physicians remain a vital resource upon whom society depends, and Merritt Hawkins takes pleasure in saluting them on national Doctors' Day.

Phillip Miller is vice president of communications for Merritt Hawkins and Staff Care, companies of AMN Healthcare. He can be reached at here.


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