Fam Pract Manag. 2004 Sep;11(8):14.
To the Editor:
“Recommendations for the Future of Family Medicine” appears to be right on the mark. Given the demonstrated relationship between the health of a country’s primary care system and the health of its population, the project should be an issue of national attention that requires immediate intervention.
Some of the many problems facing family medicine today include the increasing number of nonphysician providers who are demanding more traditional primary medicine functions and who are, in some cases, even calling themselves physicians; the non-family-physicians who are advertising “complete family care”; and the lack of public education about the specialty. However, two major problems with our specialty override all other considerations: 1) the staggering disparity in incomes between family physicians and other specialists, and 2) our status in the public’s mind and, of greater concern, our fellow physicians’ minds.
The dwindling interest in family medicine can be attributed in part to both problems, but for current students, financial considerations are of primary concern. There is no escaping that today’s investment-to-return ratio makes family medicine an increasingly rare choice. Unless this is fixed quickly, our numbers will continue to decline given the increasing practice operating costs, low reimbursements and rising medical school costs.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Send your comments to email@example.com. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.
Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.
Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions