From today's Boston Globe: The dearth of PCPs as newly insured folks in MA have tried to find them has been frustrating to many.
The new Massachusetts law alluded to in the Globe article takes some baby steps towards ameliorating this issue on the supply side. The problem, of course, is not limited to Massachusetts, as the tiny percentage of med school grads interested in pursuing a career in primary care demonstrates. But we have a looming crisis of medical homes with nobody home (remember when your G.P. was your medical home?), brought on by a persistent resistance to paying primary care physicians equitably (thanks to a reimbursement system controlled by proceduralists). Some would say that more would choose careers in primary care if their quality of life / quality of practice were improved, as if that were divorced from level of compensation. PCPs inundated with paperwork and low reimbursement rates end up seeing more patients to compensate for low reimbursement, but that just yields more paperwork; a vicious cycle. If as a society we valued PCPs more (and showed it, through more appropriate reimbursement rates) then perhaps crises of access such as that seen in today's headlines would not exist.