Concerns rise about future of primary care
As the country experiences COVID surges again and struggles to reach the Biden administration’s vaccination goals, new data released in late July by the Larry A. Green Center, in collaboration with the Primary Care Collaborative (PCC) and 3rd Conversation, shows that primary care is playing a deeper role in vaccination efforts.
Many clinicians also report an easing of stress levels in their practice, however more than 1 in 3 (36%) say they are constantly lethargic, find it hard to find joy in anything, and/or struggle at times to maintain clear thinking.
The fatigue reflected in the survey data shows potential threats to the primary care workforce or the existence of the sector itself. 40% of respondents say they worry that primary care will be gone in five years, and 21% say they expect to leave primary care within three years.
“Primary care is the front door to the healthcare system for most Americans, and the door is coming off its hinges,“ said Christine Bechtel, co-founder of 3rd Conversation, a community of patients and clinicians. “The fact that 40% of clinicians are worried about the future of primary care is of deep concern, and it’s time for new public policies that value primary care for the common good that it is. Policymakers need look no further than the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on primary care, which provides a road map to primary care’s future,” she said.
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