Here’s a good take on our specialist-based health system. In most countries, the ratio between generalists and specialists is 80:20, and it’s almost the opposite here in America. Wendy Lynch wonders why primary care is shunned in medicine, but valued everywhere else:
For example, I use a wonderful handyman, Jim, when things go wrong at our house. He is a former contractor who has experience in plumbing, electrical wiring, heating, roofing, tile, and many other general fix-it talents. His best attribute, I think, is an ability to know””or quickly assess””whether a problem is serious. Because Jim knows our house, he occasionally notices a loose board on the deck or a leak somewhere. This allows us to fix things we wouldn’t have otherwise noticed until they grew worse. The WORST news I can get from Jim is “you need a specialist,” because that means the problem is likely serious and expensive. Because I pay for it myself, I want expertise, but at a reasonable price.