The Importance of Primary Care

This New Yorker article by Atul Gowande emphasizes how important it is — and how life-extending — to have a strong and lasting relationship with your primary care physician. Incremental care at the primary level can do more to promote health and well-being than heroic surgeries and other interventions by specialists after a problem has been neglected.

Unfortunately, the incentives in our health care system work against primary care. Surgeons and specialists earn twice as much as primary care physicians, discouraging medical students from pursuing primary care or elder care careers. Meanwhile,  deductibles and co-pays can discourage people from making regular doctor visits. Looming changes to the Affordable Care Act and Medicare may make the situation worse.

As usual with Gowande, the article is extremely well written, and chock full of interesting medical anecdotes.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s