Leaders in medicine are trying to figure out how to make primary care attractive to students and residents once again
“AAMC has formed a group to consider broad issues around improving chronic care, including how a change in emphasis could be one way to attract more students into primary care. This group started its work last fall and is expected to produce a proposal sometime this year, Dr. Whitcomb said.

Trainees and students often don’t recognize the gratification of building relationships over many years, said Steven Weinberger, M.D., senior vice president for medical knowledge and education at the ACP. He said he hopes that by redesigning student and resident training, medical school faculty can demonstrate to students that primary care offers the potential for long-lasting relationships with patients.”

That’s all well and good, but perhaps primary care needs to appeal more to the bottom-line. It has been shown that a better lifestyle is a priority in today’s medical students, which is evident by more and more taking the R.O.A.D. to happiness. In comparison, primary care offers the pressure of seeing more patients in the setting of declining reimbursements. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why interest in primary care is declining: doing more work for less pay isn’t the best way to sell the profession.

Health Care Renewal and DB’s Medical Rants also comment. It seems that many of the academic physicians in charge of analyzing the problem are out of touch with both the real world and the wants of medical students today:

Understanding student decision making is not rocket science. Kevin does primary care – and he understands what our leaders apparently do not understand.