Primary care

Must-read piece from Maggie Mahar, explaining the implications and causes of the primary care shortage. Many points are familiar to readers of this blog, but here are a few that I’d like to underline.

i) Some physicians (invariably naive academics) feel that the lack of medical student exposure to practicing primary care doctors discourages them from entering the field.

That is absurd.

An upcoming study suggests exactly the opposite – the more students are exposed to primary care, the less likely they are to become generalists.

No wonder. What do you think happens when primary care physicians, frustrated with the system, project their anger on impressionable students.

ii) It is pointed out that primary care physicians in Denmark are compensated on par with or higher than specialists.

It that happened here, the primary care shortage will be solved almost instantly. However, the chances of this happening is zero.

For the record, I believe that the extra training specialists receive warrants a higher salary than generalist doctors.

It’s the unreasonable disparity that needs to be fixed.

iii) I encourage you to follow Maggie’s link to The Doctor Can’t See You Now, which explains the situation nicely.


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