Commentary: Why the doctor won’t see you now –

Commentary: Why the doctor won’t see you now –

Kevin, MD is in the popular press again today, with an editorial on CNN.  Good for Dr. Pho!


  1. One of the reasons I stopped following Kevin is because of his shortsightedness. There may be some utility of the Rodney Dangerfield shtick about not getting any respect, but it doesn’t lead to obvious useful solutions.

    The problem with primary care is a combination of the nature of the work and its reimbursement. Artificially creating more primary care docs is not a viable solution. They will stop practicing, they will get subspecialty training, and thus not be available.

    While there is some truth to the idea that increasing reimbursement for primary care tasks will improve things, it’s not that simple. There are also lifestyle issues that have to be considered. A highly paid primary care doc who is still only available by appointment, or has limited hours of availability doesn’t necessarily address any problematic issues.

    I think there has to be some sort of business model developed that works for both the patients and the doctors. Part of what this entails is an acknowledgement that if you are not going to be perpetually available, there must be adequate documentation of the knowledge you have to allow someone else to fill in for you.

    There are technological and reimbursement issues here, but there are also some demands placed on the primary care doc to make this a workable solution.

    Maybe the real solution will come from immigration of primary care physicians from other countries.

  2. I say we change the name of the emergency department to 24HR Healthcare Department.. we do plenty of primary care anyway.
    Getting primary care physicians from other countries strips them of valuable resources. A lot of countries heavily subsidize the education of their doctors only to lose them. Similar situation in nursing btw.