Monday, October 8, 2012

Future of Family Medicine Blog Celebrates National Primary Care Week 2012

After much anticipation, National Primary Care Week 2012 is finally here!

We have a surprise cross-post that will be published on a prominent national blog and set to go up on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to look back to our many blog posts. We have put together a list of 10 posts with some relevant links of interest to help students (and residents) accumulate a source of information to reference when speaking with your institutions about the importance of Primary Care.  We encourage you to utilize these links for your reference as well as to share with your classmates, colleagues, and mentors across the country.  We enjoy your comments as they indicate that we are stimulating conversation, which is what this blog is all about!

1. Family Medicine is a Waste of Your Talent
We would like to start out by saying: Family Medicine (and Primary Care) is NOT a waste of your talent.  You are not too smart for Primary Care, and, in fact, it is impossible to be too smart for Primary Care.

2. The Dean's Lie about Medical School Primary Care Workforce Production
Did you know that medical schools inflate their numbers by skewing statistics in their favor when reporting how they contribute towards primary care workforce production?  Liken the lies about these statistics to falsifying a company's quarterly/annual report to its members - immoral and illegal!  Hold them accountable!

3. Is There an Underlying Specialty Bias at your Medical School?
A hidden curriculum?  A hidden agenda?  Be cautious about comments/suggestions/mentorship by those involved with your medical education.

4. Has the RUC Destroyed Medical Student Interest in Primary Care?
A small group of physicians formed by the American Medical Association provides payment formulas to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services which sets payment for services provided by physicians.  Private insurance companies use these formulas and rates as well.  Less than 1/3 of members on this committee are primary care physicians.  Since starting in 1991, the salary gap between primary care and subspecialist physicians has widened to a point of crisis.  Learn more about it here.

5. Incorporated Patient-centered Medical Home training throughout all 4 years of medical school
PCMH is the model of primary care moving forward.  It is the responsibility of medical schools to ensure that students are learning in this environment starting on the first day of medical school.  Early exposure to primary care and its innovative model is crucial to increase our workforce.  Encourage your medical school to ensure that PCMH is the foundation of your education.

6. The 20th Report by the Council on Graduate Medical Education: Advancing Primary Care
This report is the bible of Primary Care delivery moving forward and provides recommendations to accomplish the strengthening of Primary Care in the United States.  This is a must read.

7. Does Building a Primary Care Workforce Start With Medical School Admissions Committees?
Admissions committees will deny this, but they have the ability to select from its applicants a strong set of potential medical students who are more likely to choose a career in Primary Care.  Studies upon studies confirm these characteristics.

8. The Hazing of Family Medicine
Building off of the Waste of Talent post, this post goes into depth about the struggles medical students face when proclaiming their desire and passion for Family Medicine and Primary Care to faculty throughout the clinical years of medical school.  Say no to hazing and bullying by faculty!

9. Medicine is a Team Game - And every team needs a good Family Physician!
Primary Care physicians are the quarterbacks, the point guards, and the one in charge of coordinating the care provided by a multi-disciplinary team of other specialty physicians and providers.  Fragmented care is unacceptable.

10. Living out our Personal Statements
A medical school dean once said that upon evaluation of personal statements for medical school admissions, more than 90% would choose primary care careers.  If you are currently writing a personal statement for residency, compare it to your personal statement for medical school.  If you are currently in medical school and trying to figure out what specialty to pursue, open up your personal statement and reflect on what you were feeling when you wrote it and how your medical education has influenced your career path.

Thank you for reading and we hope you have an enjoyable Primary Care Week!