Viewpoint: Primary care is at a crossroads

April 9, 2010

Although the practice of primary care medicine has always been fraught with change, at no time in history has what happens from here been more important.

The issues you're facing right now are real-more real than they have ever been. You're already being directly affected by changes such as healthcare reform, Medicare penalties and incentives tied to EHR implementation, a shortage of primary care physicians as more doctors choose to enter the more lucrative specialty medicine fields, challenges related to third-party payments and reimbursement levels, and growing concerns about malpractice.

Although the practice of primary care medicine has always been fraught with change, at no time in history has what happens from here been more important. And it's never been more crucial that your voice be heard.

To accomplish our goals, we need you to be involved. We're looking for those of you who have ideas and experiences you would like to share and who like to write or talk-we'll share your thoughts with others through articles, blogs (traditional and video), and other formats. We also plan to establish a board of doctors from across the country that will help us keep our finger on the pulse on an ongoing basis.

If you are interested in serving as one of our Voices of Primary Care, drop me a note at tstultz@advanstar.com and tell me a little bit about yourself-your thoughts on primary care, healthcare reform, and anything/everything else that is changing; some demographic information about yourself (age, gender, geographic area, etc., since we're looking for diversity in our voices); practice type and size; samples of your writing (if available) or a link to your blog if you have one; and anything else you can think of that would be of interest.

Also, please contact me if you would like to be part of our Primary Care at a Crossroads Board that will periodically receive surveys and other communications.

Speaking of change, you may recognize my name from our masthead during 2007-2009, when I served as Medical Economics' editorial director. I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Medical Economics again, this time in a more hands-on capacity as editor-in-chief.

I'm looking forward to working with you to create times of opportunity for primary care.

Tara StultzEditor-in-Chief