Primary Care Docs Do Better

Here was a study that you haven’t seen……anywhere.  It is highlighted in Medical Economics and was performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston:

 “We found that [PCPs] provide better care to diabetes patients when compared [with] other providers in a primary care setting because they were more likely to alter medications and consistently provide lifestyle counseling,” says Alexander Turchin, MD, a physician and senior author of the paper.

What?  You mean family doctors are good?   This article came in late January and no mainstream media outlet has picked up on it.  Isn’t that curious?

Here are some more tidbits:

  • The odds of medication intensification occurring were 49% higher when PCPs provided care than when covering doctors did, and they were 26% higher when PCPs provided care than when midlevel providers did.
  • The odds of lifestyle counseling occurring were 91% higher under PCPs than under covering physicians and were 26% higher under PCPs than under midlevel providers, the study notes.
  • During office visits for acute complaints, covering doctors were 52% less likely than PCPs to intensify medications.

To be honest, I don’t really know what this study means.  It was one study,  it was done at a large academic center, and it used weird endpoints.  But it doesn’t matter. My point is that you NEVER hear it when primary care docs prove that their education and training displays a difference in care.  Instead, all you ever hear is that the quality of care for treating sore throats and the flu is the same between NPs and docs.   Where is our advocacy groups publicizing this data?  Exactly.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “Primary Care Docs Do Better

  1. Kurt
    April 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Simple, I rag their fat asses until they comply and get results
    or they fire me and go see someone else.

Comments are closed.