Solving the Primary Care Physician Shortage by Turning PCPs into Anesthesiologists

Are there really too few primary care physicians? And if so, what can we do to solve the PCP shortage? The standard answer to the first question is “yes, we have too few PCPs.” And the standard solution is to train more such docs, or allow more foreign-trained primary care docs into the country or, better yet, simply pay PCPs more money, so that graduating medical students will be more likely to pursue such careers.

I have a different set of answers. To the first question, of whether we have a PCP shortage, my answer is: “Maybe yes, but very possibly no.”

Keep in mind, before you rush to judge my answer, that I am a proud primary care physician, trained in general internal medicine. Coming out of residency, I was happy to achieve lower pay than my subspecialty colleagues in order to experience the pleasures of taking care of “the whole patient”…(Read more and view comments at Forbes)

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