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Archive for March, 2011
March 31, 2011

By Janine Knudsen

My fortuitous introduction to primary care began with my family’s cross-country move from New York City to Seattle. We arrived in Seattle when I was starting high school and the city was experiencing the growth of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Vision, and other non-governmental organizations that were transforming the field of global development. I was fascinated by their efforts and the disparities they sought to address. What factors were causing so many children to grow up in poverty and malnutrition, without adequate access to education?, I wondered. How did this affect their health and well-being? more...
Posted by SWL Admin on Mar 31, 2011 1:00 AM EDT
March 24, 2011

By Katharine Treadway

Last week, a patient I have known for several years called my office and spoke to my nurse. She said that while she was driving, her vision had gone blank for one second and then she was fine. My schedule was already overbooked: almost all of the slots were filled with patients with the usual array of multiple chronic medical problems for follow up and management of what were, for the most part, stable conditions. Thus my nurse sent her to Urgent Care, a unit set up so that patients can be seen quickly for acute medical problems rather than being sent to the emergency room. The necessity for such a system has developed gradually as the burden of prevention, chronic care, documentation, and paperwork has eroded the flexibility of many internists to squeeze in the extra patient who has an acute problem. The result of this system is that paradoxically, I see my patients when they are well or stable and urgent care sees them when they are sick; the reverse of what should happen. The cost of such a system can be significant, as this story illustrates more...
Posted by SWL Admin on Mar 24, 2011 1:00 AM EDT
March 17, 2011

By Juliana Morris

My interest in primary care was sparked by my experiences doing community-based work with immigrants in the United States and abroad. When I graduated from college, I wasn’t sure that I would go into medicine, but my work with the homeless and in community health centers in my college town of Poughkeepsie, New York convinced me that I wanted to do something to address social injustice. I had worked closely with immigrant youth at Poughkeepsie High School. After hearing their stories, I grew particularly concerned about the experiences of poverty, violence, and marginalization that face low-income immigrants, both during their journey to the US and while in this country. more...
Posted by SWL Admin on Mar 17, 2011 1:00 AM EDT
March 10, 2011

By C. Todd Staub, MD

Recently, I woke up early to review what had happened with my patients from the prior evening’s after hours clinic. For one patient, an elderly woman who had come in with abdominal pain, I read her progress note, ordered additional testing, and asked the clinical team to contact her and put her on my schedule for follow-up that afternoon – all while sitting in front of my computer, drinking a cup of coffee.

This scenario is playing out in more than 70 practice sites across the state of Connecticut: providers affiliated with my organization, ProHealth Physicians, are flipping open their laptops to provide comprehensive and timely primary care to almost 10% of the state’s population. more...
Posted by SWL Admin on Mar 10, 2011 1:00 AM EST
March 3, 2011

By Phillip Zegelbone

If we hope to improve our nation’s health care delivery systems, I believe we must stimulate pre-medical students to take an interest in system reform. The fresh outlook, optimism, and intellectual curiosity of young doctors-to-be are essential for progress.

Case in point: As an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, my classmates and I were inspired by the ideas and experiences we shared in a public health course offered by our Sociology Department: the Health of Communities (HoC). In HoC, our course professor assigned each of us an internship in a community health clinic. We met in class to compare our progress in the internships and to discuss assigned readings. When the course ended, we felt the need to create a Health Care Action Network (HealthCAN) out of a shared desire to promote social justice in health care. more...
Posted by SWL Admin on Mar 3, 2011 1:00 AM EST
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