March 16, 2011 |
The average adult fills about a dozen prescriptions and refills every year; after age 65, they fill more than 30 prescriptions annually. For many people, their local pharmacist may be as familiar as their doctor ? and often a lot easier to get time with. Some pharmacists are building on that position, expanding their role from drug dispenser to drug educator and chronic disease coach. By doing so, they may fill a void created by the shortage of primary-care physicians while boosting their business.
May 25, 2011 |
"That's where the money is," Willie Sutton famously quipped when asked why he robbed banks. There's a similar rationale for employers who hope to improve employee health and contain costs with workplace health clinics: That's where the people are. Day in and day out, workers troop into the office, spending the better part of their waking hours there. What better place to have medical staff on hand, not only to treat sore throats and cut fingers but also to help employees stay healthy by offering on-site preventive tests and screenings, and health coaching to encourage healthful habits?
August 4, 2011 |
Antidepressants, now the third-most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the United States, are routinely offered to patients with vague complaints of fatigue, pain and malaise but who are not classified as suffering from a mental disorder by the physician who recommends the treatment, says a new study. And among primary care provider as well as specialists who are not psychiatrists, the practice of prescribing these medications without diagnosing depression is rising steeply, the study finds.
November 13, 2012 |
The United States will need an additional 52,000 primary care doctors to cope with population growth, newly insured people and an aging population, a group of researchers has forecast. The researchers -- from several institutions including Georgetown University and the Robert Graham Center, Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, Washington, D.C. - looked at several factors to come up with their total. Others have projected different numbers but agree that there will be a shortage of doctors.
December 21, 2008
Re "Why the doctor won't see you now," Column One, Dec. 15 This is a timely article, as healthcare reform becomes more likely with the incoming Obama administration. However, any comprehensive effort to change our fragmented healthcare system will run aground if our primary care crisis is not dealt with. The American College of Physicians reports that from 1997 to 2005, the number of U.S. medical graduates entering family medicine residencies dropped by 50%. That is likely to continue as medical school debt increases well beyond $100,000 per graduate and primary care physicians continue to receive low payment rates from Medicare and other insurers.
February 25, 2007
Healthcare should be a top item of our national agenda, particularly universal healthcare ("Healthcare reform calls get louder," Feb. 8). Unfortunately, the primary-care workforce -- general internists and family physicians -- is not big enough to handle the current needs of the insured, let alone the projected load of the 47 million uninsured. Part of the problem is that for decades medical schools have discouraged students from entering primary care, steering them into specialties instead.