I think this infographic looking at some of the reasons for a massive shortage of primary care physicians in the USA does a great of highlighting the importance of innovation. If we don’t do something to boost the appeal of primary care amongst those entering the medical profession numbers will continue to dwindle and we’ll never meet the demand.
Other than blunt financial incentives (loans for students chosing family practice etc) here’s a few things that could help turn around this worrying trend:
> Introducing more flexible working options that would appeal to Doctors who wish to work remotely or from home, during a career gap or pater/maternity leave, or byin semi-retirement.
> The automatic documenting of consultations so that we can reduce the time practicing Doctors need to commit to dealing with medicolegal disputes, clinical skill assessments, etc.
> Doing more to educate medical students on mHealth so that they can better imagine the future of the care environment in which they will be creating their careers eg. a future where all information is at your fingertips (or in front of your eyes!), where you will be able to meet with your patients via HD mobile video calls 24×7 regardless of where they are, where the shift will increasingly move from making a diagnosis to helping patients avoid it in the first place, etc.
What do you think needs to be or could be done to make Family Medicine more attractive?