My niece, Jenny, is seeking to make the best choices for her future. With many professions to choose from, she is considering becoming a doctor. Aware of the high costs of tuition and the years of study involved, Jenny wants to evaluate whether becoming a doctor is the best decision for her. Relevant Economic Principles:
A. Each determinant analyzed for your situation
1. Availability of close substitutes to servicea) Patients who utilize physicians do not have many alternatives when it comes to health care. With fewer the substitutes comes less elastic demand.
2. Passage of time
a) If insurance rises, patients may choose to adjust what physician they see or delay visiting the doctors
3. Service is a necessity
a) From birth until death, doctors are a necessity for consumers.
4. Market definitiona) Being a broadly defined market, demand for physicians is inelastic because patients have few alternatives.
5. Share of the service in the patient’s budget
a) A physicians service takes up a larger share in the patients personal budget.
B. Price Elasticity of Demand
D. Number of Current Physicians
1. 2013 – about 767,100 physicians under 75 years of age in active practice, completed graduate medical educationa) Women – 31% of workforce)
Between 65 and 75 years of age (traditional retirement age) – 10% of active workforce)
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