Rampant Diabetes and Primary Care
From CNN.com: U.S. diabetes rate nearly doubles in a decade
More than 23 million Americans have diabetes. The number is growing quickly. About 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed in people 20 or older last year, according to the CDC.
Obviously this is not good news, but there is a silver lining: this is part of the reason why we will eventually see a renewal in primary care. There aren’t enough endocrinologists to manage this. Walk-in clinics and so-called “minute clinics” can’t handle this either. Don’t think for a minute that primary care is going to be one with Nineveh and Tyre. It isn’t. The long-term viability of any health care delivery system requires lots of primary care providers. We can start increasing reimbursement of primary care physicians now so more med students will pursue that career path, or wait until the health care system has deteriorated even further into dysfunction.