My letter to Fortune magazine responding to Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, and his thoughts on how to fix America's health care crisis.
As a practicing family physician, I found that what Mr. Grove's and many health care reform proposals fail to address is the shrinking supply of primary care physicians. Annually fewer U.S. medical school graduates choose to practice either family or internal medicine, yet demand for these providers increases as Americans live longer with more complex and chronic medical conditions. Countries with a robust primary care workforce not only improve the overall health of the population but also do so at a much lower cost by coordinating care, minimizing duplication of services, and intervening to prevent illness. Without addressing this problem, the prognosis is clear and grim. More Americans will suffer from expensive medical complications that were unaddressed and avoidable. I am thankful that I have the knowledge and expertise on how to stay healthy. The question is will you?