Do patients think there’s a primary care shortage?

Apparently not, according to this unscientific poll (via Dr. Rob):

I asked 22 people today why there is a problem with healthcare in the U.S. I got umpteen dozen answers, with the most popular being “insurance is too expensive”. Not one person mentioned there was a shortage of PCP’s. Not one person knew that PCP’s were reimbursed at a much lower rate than specialists, and not one person realized PCP’s didn’t make “big money”.

It’s true that a majority of patients don’t read medical blogs like mine, where I routinely write about the primary care shortage.

However, blogs influence the health coverage at major newspapers, some of which have written about the topic and how it will hamstring universal coverage. That’s important, because patients influence policy makers, not physicians.

I encourage everyone to keep blogging about what really ails our health care system. Mainstream media routinely look to medical blogs for what’s hot in health care, and we can use them to amplify our message.

The onus is on us to convince patients that more primary care access will be in everyone’s best interest.

topics: primary care, media