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Health-care reform and the primary care physician shortage

As Congress continues the debate on a health-care bill, some physicians are concerned that attempts to reform the system will be ineffective unless America's primary care shortage is resolved.

On the CNN opinion page today, primary care physician and blogger Kevin Pho , MD, and Salon.com columnist and pediatrician Rahul Parikh, MD, write:

One goal all sides can agree on, but have yet to meaningfully address, is the need to end the crisis of primary care in the United States.

Without taking steps to fix it, any attempt at reforming our health system cannot succeed...Many solutions propose to rectify the economic factors, such as lower salaries, that discourage medical students from pursuing careers in primary care medicine. But there is scant discussion of rebuilding our health care system around the primary care doctor-patient relationship. To achieve this, three ideas are essential: teamwork, technology and integration.

Previously: Will debt forgiveness program remedy doctor shortage?

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