You Can Lead the Doctor to Primary care, but… by Pat Conrad MD

Saw a fun little story last week about a couple of California state legislators who are seeking to reverse their state’s teacher shortage. “Democratic state Sens. Henry Stern and Cathleen Galgiani introduced Senate Bill 807 to allow the state’s educators to deduct the cost of obtaining a teaching certificate from their state income taxes over five years, and to avoid paying taxes on their income until 2027.” Hey, makes sense to me: you get less of what you tax, and more of what you subsidize, every time.

So wouldn’t it make sense if the Golden State did the same for doctors? If teachers are that valuable, wouldn’t the state legislature think similarly (at least) of healers? The state is trying things like increasing residency slots, or giving away free med school tuition, neither of which have or will alleviate any primary care shortage in such an expensive place. So how about it politicians, how about some free cash for doctors?

Actually, I’m not advocating that at all. Rather than politically popular protected classes, I like seeing everyone having some skin in the game. But it is interesting that the California government is NOT proposing to throw cash at the same primary care doctors that they claim to be in such short supply. They want to home-grow more primary care docs, and “Some state lawmakers want to strengthen that foundation by expanding the roles of lower level healthcare providers, such as pharmacists and nurses.” Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

And if you really want a knee-slapper, enjoy this ridiculous bit by Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of the California Primary Care Association which represents 1,150 nonprofit community health centers. Her biggest worries include not enough primary care docs taking Medi-Cal (Medicaid), and not enough cultural diversity in the state’s physician workforce.

Something tells me that the dwindling supply of California primary care docs will face mandatory Medi-Cal quotas and new cultural sensitivity CME’s long before anyone throws any new money at them. Maybe the state can train teachers to do double duty as primary care responders.

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] 

  3 comments for “You Can Lead the Doctor to Primary care, but… by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Kurt
    March 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    “Something tells me that the dwindling supply of California primary care docs will face mandatory Medi-Cal quotas and new cultural sensitivity CME’s long before anyone throws any new money at them. Maybe the state can train teachers to do double duty as primary care responders.”

    ………….Leading to the primary care docs they have to leave the celebrated state of
    “Kalifornia”.

  2. Thomas Guastavino
    March 20, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Conservatives judge the success of an organization by how productive and happy are its workers. Liberals judge success by how diverse is the organization. With “leaders” like Carmela Garcia health care will be completely dead very shortly.

    • Pat
      March 22, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Read one of your pieces at KevinMD, nice job.

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