Medical Interns, doctors who have already received their medical degrees and are training in a specific field, only spend 12 percent of their time, on average, actually interacting with patients. Shockingly, researchers also found that these doctors in training are spending almost as much time walking around hospital facilities, 7 percent of the time.

Since the first survey of its kind was performed in 2003, when rules limiting working hours for interns was instituted, medical trainees spend far less time with patients.

"One of the most important learning opportunities in residency is direct interaction with patients," says Lauren Block, M.D., M.P.H., a clinical fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study.

The study followed 29 internal medicine interns, doctors in their first year out of medical school studying to specialize in internal medicine for three weeks.

The results of the study were quite shocking:

12% Talking with and examining patients

64% Indirect patient care, placing orders, researching patient history, filling out electronic paperwork

15% Educational activities, such as medical rounds

9% Miscellaneous activities

"Most of us went into medicine because we love spending time with the patients. Our systems have squeezed this out of medical training," says Leonard Feldman, M.D., the study's senior author and a hospitalist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH). Dr. Feldman continued that 12 percent of time spent with patients "seems shockingly low at face value. Interns spend almost four more times as long reviewing charts than directly engaging patients."

A report previously indicated that radiologists who had a personal connection to the test results and scans they were reviewing made better and more accurate diagnoses.

With the new Obamacare healthcare initiative, doctors will have to spend less time combing through medical records, as all records will be electronic and easily searchable. Hopefully this will bring about a change that seems is needed in patient care.

The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and can be found here.