The Fantasy of Family Medicine

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This was recently touted from the AAFP:

Family medicine draws more interest among medical students than any other specialty, according to survey data published recently by Medscape.

They go on to quote to AAFP President Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., of York, Pa:

“When you go into family medicine, you have the opportunity to become the physician you wanted to be in medical school.”

Really, Wanda?  These students are dreaming of becoming data entry clerks?  Or maybe they wanted to churn through patients at seven minutes a visit?  Or how about being pawns in a system run by hospitals and insurers?

I had this fantasy, too, and it took me seventeen years to find it.  It’s called Direct Primary Care.

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] 

  5 comments for “The Fantasy of Family Medicine

  1. HJR
    August 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    For 15 years now my one piece of advice for medical students has been, “DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PRIMARY CARE! From your first day it is a barren wasteland of soul crushing despair and then it just keeps getting worse.”

  2. Kurt
    August 24, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Tell me. Why are students still going into FP? Is it because they don’t match with something else? Is it lambs to slaughter? Is it they’re brainwashed into thinking they’ll “educate” every patient and they’ll modify their behaviors, their lipids go down without meds, their glyco-hb will magically get below 7 and they’ll tell the truth that they actually quit smoking?
    Way I see it is by leaving everything to hospitalists, their inpatient skills, if they had any in the first place will atrophy and go away. Eventually it will be considered they’re doing nothing more important than what an NP or LELT can do and will be paid accordingly. They’ll discover they made a lousy choice of vocation. Now don’t poop in your pants Doug as DPC is a different situation. If you give up hospital care and have a decent panel of paying patients, it doesn’t matter as long as you are in a financially stable situation. If fact, if you have money coming in not dependent on the insurers, you can eventually give the ABFM the one finger peace sign and do 50 hours a year of CME you feel is helpful and not what some ivory tower bastard says is important.

  3. RSW
    August 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Filer is a true shit-for-brains. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

  4. Pat
    August 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Filer is divorced from reality, and her version of “family medicine” is just a Potemkin Village for the realities of health care. Double-plus ungood.

  5. August 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Truth. Well said!

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