These Doctors Always See You

The picture above is from the article The Doctor Won’t See You Now in the WSJ. It is NOT the example I want to show you. Here is a better example:

That’s Dr. Michael Ciampi at He has the normal amount of Direct Primary Care patients, which is in the 600 range and he is able to see ALL his patients without the help of people who are not physicians (just playing doctor).

The article I reference states: The traditional experience of getting health care is shifting away from the solo doctor with limited time to spend with each patient and few incentives to promote wellness. Instead, in the future, patients will be more likely to see a team of health-care professionals whose compensation is linked to keeping patients healthy. That team may be led by a doctor, but with a growing shortage of physicians, a nurse practitioner is increasingly likely to be in charge. Patients will also receive more care virtually and in nontraditional settings such as drugstore clinics.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a concerted effort to create this story. Administrators want it to save money. Drug stores want it to save money. Insurers want it to save money. NPs and PAs want it so they can say they are the same, or even better, than doctors. They are not.

The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortfall of as many as 55,200 physicians going into primary care by 2033. More medical students are opting for higher paying specialties. Meanwhile, the ranks of other health professionals trained in the field have been on a steady climb. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners estimates there are more than 290,000 licensed in the U.S., with close to 70% involved in delivering primary care. There are also about 131,000 physician assistants, with about 21% working in primary care.

No one wants to go into primary care because of everything this article says. It is a self-perpetuating cycle of death for this profession. And as this happens, the AAFP fiddles. The only hope for primary care is DPC (Direct Primary Care). It’s time that the AAFP continues to market and publicize the MASSIVE differences in education and training between doctors and NPPS (non doctor providers). It’s time the AAFP pushes the MAJORITY of its conferences towards DPC.

Or the speciality will die.

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