Students Embrace Direct Primary Care

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Finally, there is traction. Here are some highlights from the 2014 AAFP National Congress of Family Medicine Residents in Kansas:

Perhaps with an eye to the day when they’ll be hanging up their own shingles, residents strongly supported the need for educational resources related to DPC, adopting a resolution that calls on the AAFP to “explore the establishment of curricular experiences in the direct primary care practice setting for residents and medical students.”

A second resolve clause calls for the Academy to investigate the establishment of residency programs sponsored by DPC practices that would be self-funded, thus providing an option to increase available residency positions that would not require federal legislation.

“(DPC is) always compared to concierge medicine, but it’s much different,” said the resolution’s author Phil Eskew, D.O., of Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz, Pa. “The cost is very low, and it often helps people who are uninsured.”

The congress also adopted two related measures, one of which asks the AAFP to create a DPC toolkit specific to family medicine residents who wish to establish a DPC practice right out of residency, as well as regional workshops on starting, rather than transitioning to, a DPC practice. The second measure asks the Academy to provide other educational resources on the topic, including seminars at the 2015 National Conference.

“As residents, the training we get in business models in general varies from program to program,” said Charla Allen, M.D., of Texas Tech Family Medicine at Lubbock, a co-author of both resolutions. “We believe a toolkit that would help residents coming out of residency would be very beneficial.”

This is “back to the future” for family medicine and I love it.  In fact, I have hope again.  Direct Primary Care is the only way we not only can survive, but thrive.  In fact, that should be our mantra to these students and residents.  DON’T JUST SURVIVE. THRIVE.  I feel a tipping point coming.

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