Progress Notes is PCP’s mostly guest-written blog. It’s a place to find positive, inspiring stories about primary care and leadership we might not see anywhere else. Interested in contributing? Contact Blog Editor Sonya Collins.
Progress Notes Blog
As a general rule, primary care physicians like people. This is true long before they start medical school and it continues to blossom during training. Ask these doctors, as I have during in-depth interviews, and they will tell you that certain types of individuals are drawn to primary care careers.
My third year of medical school cemented the passion for primary care I developed as a volunteer in a clinic for undocumented immigrants in San Francisco. Relationship building, continuity of care, and seeing the impact a primary care physician can have on a patient’s health all ignited my passion more than any angioplasty or neurosurgery ever could. But one question continued to nag me as I filled in the bubbles of my electronic residency application form and formulated my personal statement: family medicine or internal medicine?
I was cautioned that some programs were primary care tracks in name only and might have just one or two features that distinguish them from categorical programs. However, nearly all of the primary care tracks I saw appeared to offer exceptional training to prepare future physicians to not only adapt to, but also innovate in, our evolving healthcare system.
For anybody who believes that the old fashioned, country doctor is just an outdated notion, Dr. Richard Young is here to tell you otherwise. In a recent New Yorker article about him, Dr. Mehmet Oz was paraphrased as saying that “Marcus Welby – the kindly, accessible, but straight-talking television doctor – is dead.” If he …
Match Day is one of the most important days in a medical student’s life. It’s when students learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. But the road to Match Day is often paved with tough decisions. Here, Anoop Raman, who will be starting NYPH-Columbia Family Medicine Residency in July, tells us how he chose between family medicine and internal medicine-primary care.
Brian Forrest didn’t want to practice family medicine in a system where receptionists ask, “Who’s your insurance provider?” before asking, “Why do you need to see the doctor?” But instead of leaving the system, he changed it, and the result is a cash-only, no-insurance practice that earns more and charges far less than the traditional model.
Whether by faculty or peers who openly express disappointment in their choice to pursue primary care or by curricula that seem designed to steer trainees into subspecialties, nearly all summit participants had a story to tell about being shamed for their interest in the field. Nearly all felt marginalized.