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Latest Posts

By Randi Sokol M.D., M.P.H., Alisha Dyer, D.O., and Charlene Hauser, M.D., M.P.H.

Likely if you are reading this article, you are aware of the impending shortage of primary care doctors our nation faces:  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be adding approximately 32 million new patients to the system by 2014.  For a country that already has a huge shortage of primary care physicians, this added patient load poses daunting primary care workforce shortage issues, with a shortfall of approximately 46,000 PCPs predicted by the year 2025. The Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) estimates that in order to provide adequate access and hence optimal outcomes for our nation of patients, 40-50% of our workforce will need to be primary care physicians.  Yet our medical schools continue to produce more physicians interested in specialty care. So, as primary care doctors who deeply believe in the importance of our role, what can we do to garner a future of primary care physicians who make up the majority of the workforce and are leaders within our medical communities?
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Posted by Alex Folkl on Dec 15, 2011 11:16 AM EST
By Daniel S. Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.H.

Primary care is often characterized as continuous, coordinated, comprehensive, accessible, and accountable. The specialties to which these qualities apply are generally recognized as Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, and General Pediatrics. But there is another:  Public Health.  While practitioners of the three larger specialties provide primary care to individuals, Public Health specialists provide primary care to communities or populations.  The patient of the public health physician is the community or population for whose health (s)he has responsibility.

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Dec 8, 2011 9:22 AM EST
By Andrew Hart, MPH

My interest in HIV is both personal and professional. Personal because I am a member of a community that continues to be the hardest hit by the epidemic: Gay men. Some of my friends are HIV+ and while the shock and sadness is perhaps less than when the epidemic was nothing short of a nightmare through the 1980s and early 1990s, the struggles they must confront are many and complicated, and will only increase as they age with the disease. 
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Posted by Alex Folkl on Dec 1, 2011 10:25 AM EST
By Charlene Hauser

In a down economy, with Family Practice residency graduation looming, I am a hotter commodity than gold right now. Recruiters compete for my attention with emails, phone calls, and fancy dinners. They've met my husband (who fortunately was willing to be my front line in this sudden assault of suitors) and they know my likes and dislikes.
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Posted by Alex Folkl on Nov 23, 2011 11:30 AM EST
By Amy Cobb

When I saw that Mr. Jones was in for yet another exacerbation of his chronic congestive heart failure, I felt utterly exasperated. I approached his bedside to find out what had gone wrong in the few weeks since his last hospitalization when I saw them. They were unmistakable and all too familiar. Red, freshly polished, and clownishly big, two shoes were peeking out from underneath the bedside curtain. Sniff, sniff. If the shoes hadn’t given him away, the smell would have. I gathered whatever patience and calm I could muster and pulled back the curtain. To no surprise (but to much dismay), Ronald McDonald was sitting there by my 47 year-old obese, hypertensive, diabetic patient, serving him an oversized Big Mac and fries.

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Posted by Alex Folkl on Nov 10, 2011 9:15 AM EST

An Interview with Eric Lu
By Sonya Collins


 November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Eric Lu, 2nd-year medical student at Harvard Medical School, has produced a video that will raise awareness in all who watch it.  A project for the Harvard Primary Care Innovation Center under mentor Andy Ellner, M.D., producing this video taught Eric about the transformative power of storytelling. Here he tells Progress Notes all about it. 

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Nov 3, 2011 8:43 AM EDT
By Robert Gifford, M.D.

It is almost impossible for me to believe that my views on primary care in the United States have changed so radically in fifty years.  When I graduated from medical school in 1961, I was determined to become a primary care doctor. I completed residencies in both medicine and pediatrics to prepare for a career as a general physician in rural Vermont. That dream was put on hold by an unexpected opportunity to develop and lead a section of general internal medicine at a major medical school. I believed then that the best way to deliver primary care for adults was through physicians thoroughly trained in internal medicine. As a result, we built and developed a Primary Care Center that housed required primary care clinics at the medical school and the local Veteran’s Administration Hospital, and was staffed by faculty, medical residents and medical students.  We had high hopes of stimulating interest in primary care in the residents and students who participated. That did not happen. 

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Oct 27, 2011 8:43 AM EDT
By Andrew Schutzbank, MD, MPH

In writing this entry in Progress Notes, I was challenged to look back at my education and training and share what experiences led me to choose a career in Primary Care Innovation. I distinctly remember when the idea of primary care first entered my mind.  It wasn’t glamorous, it wasn’t during medical education, and it wasn’t even positive!  While in my Senior year at Penn, I lived with four very close friends all of whom undertook a holy ritual called Recruitment, in which they transcended from lowly college seniors to highly placed, well-paid slaves in the financial sector.  On one particular night, in between fancy dinners and interviews during which he had to answer ridiculous questions estimating the number of hotel rooms in Philadelphia, my roommate Ben graced me with his presence. more...
Posted by Alex Folkl on Oct 20, 2011 1:26 PM EDT

By Krupa Patel

National Primary Care Week continues this week at some schools across America. Krupa Patel is helping to organize and host Boston University School of Medicine’s Primary Care Week, which includes afternoon and evening events Monday, October 17, through Thursday, October 20.  Here she writes why she chose primary care.
 
 


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Posted by Sonya Collins on Oct 17, 2011 9:28 AM EDT
By Meera Subash

Increasing access to high quality, reliable health care in rural communities has challenged healthcare providers, policymakers, and academic health care centers alike in the past few decades. With the advent of service and loan repayment programs such as the National Health Service Corps in 1972, many rural health care jobs have been incentivized, drawing health care providers to serve in more distant areas. And yet, even with these programs in place, rural access remains limited due to physician turnover and dissolving practices more...
Posted by Alex Folkl on Oct 14, 2011 11:35 AM EDT
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Most Recent Comments

You are doing really a nice job guys. Health is the most important segment of our life without it everything has no meaning. The usage of medication ought to depend on an all-inclusive psychiatric evaluation and be one part of an extensive treatment program. It's a medical emergency and immediate expert assistance is crucial! The usage of drugs and surgi...
Dear Penny, You give us another wake-up call. Boundaries can get loose and good habits can get worn down in the nursing home. As you say, the way that things get paid for affects the doctor-patient relationship. In my HMO, there are financial incentives to keep our patients at home. And some of our patients who need long-term care but still value the sociali...
It is a great article to know what patients want. Each medical professional must read this to know more about patients and keep them happy.
This looks intresting one and thanks for sharing. Any decision patient only input ant output important.
Thank you for sharing such ideas...

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