Paul Levy, the blogging CEO at Running A Hospital provides some advice to a West Virginia medical student who responded to his post "Students, Are you curious?" (a weekly Wednesday feature).
Great discussion of the reason why we need to encourage more physicians to go into primary care and some of the barriers that exist under the current system. Don't miss reading the comments. As a fellow West Virginian who grew up in a family of country doctors -- I hope that Paul is right and that there is a shift focusing back on the value of primary care practice (for another perspective on what drives the value of primary care -- read physicians upset about nurse anesthetist incomes).
I had the pleasure growing up to watch the positive impact that good primary care services can have on individuals, families and a community. My dad and uncle were both physicians (and my grandfather) serving Wetzel County. Efforts need to be made to create incentives to allow doctors to spend more time to talk with patients and the families with a focus on preventative care and early detection. One modern concept is the new "micro practice" - what Dr. Charles calls the new old fashioned family doc. In my opinion this would have a positive impact on care and outcomes.
Paul's post reminds me that I need to stick with my promise feature of the "West Virginia Doctor". I need to post some more stories to help highlight some of the valuable (non-monetary) personal benefits of being a primary care physician.