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Letter: Creating Divisions on Primary Care

To the Editor:

At the risk of appearing to create another head-to-head confrontation with Dr. Grover (“A Primary Role for Primary Care,” Aug. 11), I’d like to take exception to his unfortunate implication that true primary care is the purview of family doctors alone.

More than half of all visits to physicians are to primary care physicians, more than half of which are provided by general internists; associate providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) also play a significant role.

To be sure, we agree that our perversely constructed for-profit health care industry, which includes the physician marketplace, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and an insurance industry that creates little if any value for patients, has progressively diminished the attractiveness of primary care as a career, but that is all the more reason for those dedicated to patient-centered, whole person care to work together rather than create divisions where none exist.

Jonathan M. Ross, M.D.

Hanover

Related

Column: A Primary Role for Primary Care

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hanover In a recent Wall Street Journal Report, Drs. Atul Grover and Elliott Fisher went head to head on the issue of creating new residency slots to increase the supply of physicians. Grover, the chief public policy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, argues that patient demographics and the failure of recent innovations in health care delivery to …