Primary Care Shortage Stories Won’t Go Away

Without revitalizing primary care, any and all attempts at health care reform will fail.  That’s an idea that I and a number of other medical bloggers have been promoting and it seems to be getting repeated over and over again in both the blogosphere and the mainstream media.

Dr. Kevin Pho of the KevinMD blog was interviewed by Forbes and commented on the subject.  Dr. Pauline Chen at the New York Times asks Where Have All the Doctors Gone?  And Medinnovationblog’s Dr. Reece has back to back posts on the primary care shortage.

I can’t predict the future, but I have a hard time trying to picture American health care going too much longer without a resurgence in primary care.  In fact, it’s hard to believe that primary care was allowed to deteriorate as far as it has without professional organizations, government, private insurance, and other health care “actors” sounding the alarm and taking action.

The Massachusetts fiasco has demonstrated that while government can legislate health insurance coverage for everyone — an idea that in and of itself has quite a few liabilities — it cannot legislate family doctors and internal medicine physicians into existence.

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