NEJM on the Future of Primary Care

Primary Care -- Will It Survive?
Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D.


Primary Care -- The Best Job in Medicine?
Beverly Woo, M.D.

(click to see the figure)
Figure 2. Proportions of 3rd-year Internal Medical Residents Choosing Careers as Generalists (dramatic downward trend), Subspecialists (upward trend), and Hospitalists (significant upward trend).

In many European countries there is a distinct division between the inpatient care provided by hospitalists and the outpatient care provided by general practitioners (GPs). Currently, our health system is moving in this direction and this is probably beneficial.

As a hospitalist at the Cleveland Clinic, I see clearly that patients are happy to have a physician available to see them and answer their questions during a full work day rather than during a rushed 10-minute "encounter." Outpatient doctors are almost always pressed by their busy schedules and have to leave the hospital and go back to their office as soon as possible. It is no surprise than many patients ask hospitalists if they can continue to follow them after discharge.

Further reading:
This attitude frustrates me. DB’s Medical Rants.
Image source:, public domain.

1 comment:

  1. If Doctors don't have time to see their patients, what the hell they have time for, filling paper work?