(HealthDay)—Four pillars have been identified for promoting primary care physician workforce reform, according to an article published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Noting that national statistics demonstrate that an insufficient number of students and residents are choosing primary care careers, Jeri Hepworth, Ph.D., and colleagues from the Council of Academic Family Medicine Four Pillars Taskforce developed the "Four Pillars for Primary Care Physician Workforce" model to identify necessary conditions to ensure primary care physician growth.
The researchers identified the four pillars as pipeline; process of medical education; practice transformation; and payment reform. The pipeline pillar includes identifying, recruiting, and retaining students and residents into primary care. The process of medical education pillar includes modeling excellence in training physicians at all levels of education, with physicians encouraged to practice evidence-based, compassionate, and comprehensive primary care. Practice transformation includes the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care, which provides a framework for primary care practices in the future. Finally, payment reform includes national advocacy to address the need for appropriate reimbursement of primary care practice and medical education.
"The 'four pillars' is a powerful vehicle for promoting the expansion of the primary care workforce which can serve as an 'elevator speech' to effectively communicate the key steps to increase the number of primary care physicians in the United States," the authors write.
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