It's well documented on this blog that the primary care shortage will only worsen once most of America has access to affordable health insurance. As I wrote in a recent op-ed. not only will there a shortage of primary care physicians, but nurse practitioners and physician assistants won't alleviate the problem either, mostly because they are also enticed by the lucrative allure of specialty practice. Enter the three-year primary care physician. Texas ...

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It has been three months since I closed the door on my primary care office for the last time. It was with a heavy heart that I said goodbye to the many patients I cared for over the last six years. I am the fourth physician to leave the practice in as many years. As the economy faltered, I found my private office practice had simply become unsustainable. With the popularity ...

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by Rick Bendinger, MD I am a rural health provider in Abbeville, Alabama and have been here almost 30 years. I originally went to school on a public health scholarship and took the private practice option. This was a program that existed in the 1980s that paid for tuition and a stipend with the obligation to go either to a prison, rural area, or Indian reservation. Sadly the program no longer exists. ...

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I've written previously that the days of the private practice physician are numbered. A detailed piece from the New York Times confirms the exodus. Young doctors, who are burdened with medical school debt exceeding $150,000 are opting for the financial stability that a salary from a hospital-owned practice, or a large integrative medical center, can bring. Gone are the days where a solo practitioner can hang a shingle and ...

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by Michael Smith Healthcare workers in a New York City emergency department had the highest rate of infection among employees of an urban hospital system during the first wave of the H1N1 pandemic flu, researchers said. In a single-institution study using medical and administrative records, the adult emergency department had an H1N1 infection rate of 28.8% during April, May, and June of 2009, according to Robert Bristow, MD, and colleagues at New ...

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by Kristina Fiore Twenty-somethings rely on emergency departments (EDs) for care far more than do other age groups, researchers have found. In 2006, nearly a quarter of all young adult healthcare visits -- 22.1% -- took place at an ED, compared with 12.6% for children and adolescents and 8.3% for patients over 30. That rate has significantly increased over a 10-year period, Robert J. Fortuna, MD, MPH, of the University of Rochester Medical ...

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Beginning in the 1970s, the house call began a slow death. As the medical-industrial complex (MIC) burgeoned, with bigger hospitals and a surfeit of technology, it became incumbent on patients to come see us rather than us going to see you. Yet there are pockets of house calls still left in the U.S. For the geriatric age group, there has been growth in the care-at-home sector, especially for homebound elders. They can ...

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A version of this op-ed was published on March 15th, 2010 in the USA Today. If you recently saw a doctor, you might subsequently receive a survey in the mail asking whether your physician was friendly, spent enough time with you, or showed the appropriate level of concern for your medical issues. Patient satisfaction surveys are being increasingly used in hospitals nationwide. Press Ganey, a leading organization measuring patient satisfaction, counts more ...

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by Joyce Frieden Retail clinics aren't just for strep throats any more; they'll also be managing diabetes and other chronic diseases. "It's a new service strategy," Sandra Ryan, CPNP, told attendees at a meeting on retail clinics sponsored by the Convenient Care Association and the Jefferson School of Population Health. "We're evolving our clinic offerings," said Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, which operates retail clinics inside Walgreens pharmacies, ...

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If there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that preventive care is always a good thing. Well, I'm a doctor and I'm afraid of preventive medicine. The theory behind preventive medicine is sound. It is better to treat prevent disease than to treat it. It is better to refrain from smoking and never get lung cancer than it is to treat lung cancer. It is better to refrain from alcohol abuse ...

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