If we, as a country, focused on and invested in prevention as the basis for health care, the system in the United States would be transformed.
However, the physicians who provide primary care services tend to have the least status and are paid lower than other specialties. They are often mandated to do tasks and paperwork that are burdensome, time-consuming, and unrelated to their skills as a physician or their relationship with patients. Both the physician and the patient are negatively affected by this system.
For these reasons, I have been told to steer away from primary care. My problem with that: Nothing will change if we avoid it! We are on the brink of a physician shortage, which means we must invest in prevention now more than ever.
Let’s recreate the role and identity of the primary care physician.
Jamie Katuna is a medical student.