The problem with primary care

Earlier this week, FierceHealthcare examined the shortage of primary care doctors in Massachusetts and across the nation. Now another article, like our previous item published by the New England Journal of Medicine, examines this growing problem as well as the factors that have contributed to primary care doctors' dissatisfaction with their jobs. NEJM observes that "primary care is facing a confluence of factors that could spell disaster." Many patients have unrealistic expectations for their primary care docs. There is a limit to how much medical knowledge a primary care physician can remember about a given specialty, so they can't always provide the best care to every patient. Lower reimbursement rates force docs to see more patients, causing doctors to feel rushed and unfulfilled in their chosen profession. The study details several more frustrations that physicians are facing, but it all boils down to one fact: the number of medical students pursuing a career in primary medicine has dropped significantly in recent years.

To read the NEJM's findings:
- see this article