Health reform needs more than money to save primary care

My recent op-ed, co-written with pediatrician Rahul Parikh, was published today on

Entitled, “Family doctor is key to reform,” we discuss how it takes more than money to revitalize primary care:

Many solutions propose to rectify the economic factors, such as lower salaries, that discourage medical students from pursuing careers in primary care medicine. But there is scant discussion of rebuilding our health care system around the primary care doctor-patient relationship. To achieve this, three ideas are essential: teamwork, technology and integration.

Yes, pilot projects embedded within the proposed health bill, like the patient centered medical home, promise some of these ideas. But a more sweeping commitment needs to be made.

I’ve written before that money is only one reason why primary care is dying. Improving the professional life of a primary care doctor will encourage more students to consider the field and strengthen the relationship these physicians have with their patients.

Enjoy the piece.