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Fam Pract Manag. 2001;8(10):13

To the Editor:

I agree with the efforts of the AAFP that are mentioned in “Is It Time to Re-examine Family Practice?” Over the last few years, the number of students in family medicine preceptor programs has steadily declined. Interest in our specialty decreased when the cost of medical school increased to astronomical levels. The $30,000 that medical school costs each year is a much greater burden for a family physician than for an orthopedic surgeon. Increasing our reimbursement by even 30 percent won’t help us pay off huge loans. Cut an orthopedic surgeon’s reimbursement by 30 percent and he or she will still make $200,000 a year.

What would make a difference is paying family doctors for the care we give instead of calling it “health maintenance” and not covering the service. Pay us for doing colposcopies and skin tag removals. No one will do these things but us, but no one will pay us for them.


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