Fam Pract Manag. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):10-12.
I applaud Dr. Starfield's attempt to define our specialty in terms of person-focused care rather than disease-focused care in “Family Medicine Should Shape Reform, Not Vice Versa” [Opinion, July/August 2009]. The problems with her wish list, and mine (as expressed in an editorial I wrote in April 2006, “Reinventing Family Medicine”), are that family practice residency programs still train doctors along disease-focused models, and they don't teach them how to run an independent practice so they can have the time to do person-focused, comprehensive, coordinated care.
It is somewhat ironic that midlevel providers, who aren't expected to see as many patients per hour as physicians, are better suited to handle these tasks. The corporate model of health care simply doesn't allow enough time for family physicians to provide the kinds of services that Dr. Starfield advocates.
If we can't compete with specialists in treating disease, and if we can't compete with midlevels in giving of our time, then we are rudderless as a specialty and cannot be saved by electronic health records or the other technologies that are propounded in the patient-centered medical home model.
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 © 2010 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