According to a recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine patients are seeing their doctor less. That includes any method of contact:
Both patients in contact with primary care physicians and patient contact with these physicians in any form – including in office or over the phone – declined over 2-year periods occurring from 2002 to 2017.
Feel free to read the rest of the article. It’s actually quite funny because the people they interview all have their own theories and rationalizations. It’s a food fight and everyone is hiding behind their lunch tables. It is due to urgent care centers? Is it due to value-based care? Is it due to the cost? Is it just harder to get seen by the doctor?
Then there was this astute observation:
Should residency training be modified, and if so, how?
Hmmmm. Interesting. I would say…..yes. And the how is called Direct Primary Care. How about the residencies embrace this concept and teach their future family doctors how to do it? Or, they could continue to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
Too harsh? Possibly, but there was NO mention of DPC in this study or in the author’s take at the end. We do not exist to them. The overwhelming majority of DPC doctors had NO loss of revenue during the pandemic. How about those primary doctors stuck in the Matrix? Not as lucky.
You would think that this little nugget alone would give pause to the doctors interviewed in the article. Or the AAFP. Or the ACP. Or anyone.
When they are ready to learn about DPC then we will be there for them. Until then we will just leave the light on.