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Be A Primary Care Doctor In Just 3 Years

It’s well documented on this blog that the primary care shortage will only worsen once most of America has access to affordable health insurance.

As I wrote in a recent op-ed, not only will there a shortage of primary care physicians, but nurse practitioners and physician assistants won’t alleviate the problem either, mostly because they are also enticed by the lucrative allure of specialty practice. Enter the three-year primary care physician. Apparently, the fourth year of medical school was deemed expendable. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

Is A Nurse Practitioner A “Doctor?”

Nurse practitioners are demanding a wider scope of practice and even to be called “doctor” if they have a doctorate. And 28 states are considering giving them what they want, to which physician societies object.

Health policy analyst Jack Needleman (a Ph.D., so he gets to be called doctor, too), says the quality of care is the same. (He’s also an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.) AMA president-elect and internist Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., a Master of the American College of Physicians, (who is definitely called doctor) says the primary care shortage is a call for more physicians, not for fewer. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Solving The Primary Care Crisis: Are We Training Enough Doctors?

In a few years, every American will be required to have health insurance. As a result, the 32 million people currently uninsured will seek out a personal physician. This role typically is filled by a primary care doctor, like an internist or a family physician.

While passage of the healthcare reform bill affirmed the belief that having health insurance is a right rather than a privilege, the legislation falls short on building a healthcare system capable of absorbing the newly insured.

Universal healthcare coverage is not the same as providing universal access to medical care. Having an insurance card doesn’t guarantee that individuals can actually get care. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*

Well, That’s One Way To Choose Your Medical Specialty

browniesSometimes it’s hard to know what kind of doctor you’d like to become. The first two years of medical school are devoted to memorizing text books, and then suddenly in third year you are expected to function as part of a team of different specialists, rotating at 2-6 week intervals. At the end of the third year you’d better have a clear sense of what kind of medicine/surgery you’d like to practice for the rest of your life. No changing your mind! (At least, that’s how the process is supposed to go.)

I asked a physician friend of mine how he came to choose family medicine as a career. I expected him to say that he liked the autonomy of figuring out conundrums on his own – to take care of the entire family and be there for them throughout the life cycle, etc… But what he actually told me was a little unexpected. Read more »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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