As You Were Saying...Finding care, close to home

As the clock runs out on federal dollars to support the training of primary care physicians, the news is filled with stories decrying the lack of primary care providers. In the 1990s HMOs and managed care ushered in an era of cost containment which also resulted in a sharp decline in earning potential for PCPs. The scenario was a prescription for disaster and a predictor of the impact on primary care: high tuition, years of intense study and training, crippling debt, growing numbers of patient visits — and salaries considerably below those of specialty doctors. Why wouldn’t medical students want to maximize their incomes by choosing higher-paying specialties?

In the past 100 years, the career arc of the primary care physician has come full circle. Today, Norman Rockwell images of the kindly country doctor have transformed into diverse teams of dedicated professionals committed to on-the-ground delivery of high quality, cost effective primary care for all Massachusetts residents. And they are just around the corner — at your local community health center.

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