A Call for Dialogue Among Primary Care Clinicians

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<p>Many experts see a primary care physician shortage looming, particularly as millions gain insurance coverage under the health reform law. Currently, the U.S. has far fewer such physicians per capita than other wealthy countries have. </p><p>In an <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/may/putting-aside-preconceptions-time-dialogue-among-primary-care">editorial</a> in this week’s <em>New England Journal of Medicine,</em> The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal and Melinda Abrams explore one approach to addressing the primary care workforce shortage: using nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice nurses, to provide a wide range of primary care services. Blumenthal and Abrams call for a flexible approach to crafting primary care workforce policy, one that’s responsive to the changing roles of health care professionals and to changes in the organization and financing of health care. </p>
<p>"Unless physicians and nurses collaborate to improve primary care, neither will be happy with the outcome," they write. "We urgently need a facilitated, open dialogue about the roles of primary care physicians and advanced practice nurses that includes representatives of the public." </p>
<p>Visit <a href="/publications/journal-article/2013/may/putting-aside-preconceptions-time-dialogue-among-primary-care">commonwealthfund.org</a> to learn more. </p>