It goes without saying, that physicians are a very important part of our health care workforce. And importantly, physicians will be an essential part of transforming our health care system towards collaborative care.
The Council of Academic Family Medicine, with support from the American Academy of Family Physicians, released a document outlining four major pillars describing how to address the critical shortage of primary care physicians.
The Michigan Health Council’s Medical Opportunities in Michigan program, a non-profit service that connects employers with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, has been at the front line of the burgeoning primary care provider shortage.
In rural Michigan, the primary care provider shortage isn’t looming – it’s here now. These recommendations could make a very real difference in the lives of families today.
The four pillars include the following:
Prospective medical students need to be exposed to primary care role models at an earlier age and broader range of medical students, especially those from rural and low-income backgrounds, need to be considered as candidates for medical school.
Medical Education Process
Additional mentorship opportunities from inspiriting primary care role models needs to be considered a priority in medical education.
Transforming the actual delivery of care away from a siloed, physician-only method of care towards interprofessional and team-based care can expand access to care.
Addressing the economics of family practice by both reducing the cost in student loan debt to become a physician and narrowing the pay gap between primary care and specialty providers by transitioning away from the fee-for-service model will impact the incentives for primary care.