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(Podcast) – Family medicine and the fight for the soul of health care

Kevin Pho, MD

“Overall, the health system in the United States is still not tilting its axes in favor of either primary care or family doctor. What is worse, family doctors as a collective are more balkanized and less cohesive than ever. There is a sense among those in the field that something is not right about the specialty. Some feel there is a bait-and-switch aspect to becoming a family doctor. It ends up being something much different than what they were initially told. Others feel it is an impossible job to do well. The ask is too big for them. Still others believe sincerely in the ideal definition of the role, that of the generalist or comprehensive doctor, but find themselves working too hard or sacrificing too much to get it done. They find other niche-oriented ways to convince themselves they are doing “true” family medicine work. Family doctors everywhere are searching out more sustainable career paths for themselves, leading to so much career variety that the very label family doctor starts losing its preferred connotation.”

Timothy Hoff is a professor of management and author of Searching for the Family Doctor: Primary Care on the Brink. He shares his story and discusses his article, “Family medicine and the fight for the soul of health care.”

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