Study calls for 39 percent more family physicians

t equipped to meet the wide-range of health care needs in our country. Until the health care system places a greater value on family medicine and other primary care specialties, millions of Americans will struggle to obtain high-quality, affordable care."

In response to the study's findings, the AAFP has identified a number of goals it plans to pursue to help reform the family physician workforce, including:

  • Encourage its 94,000 members to implement the TransforMED Model of Care, which includes the use of electronic health records, redesigned office space, open-access scheduling and overall care that centers on the patient;
  • Support efforts to ensure health care access for all Americans;
  • Actively lobby and advocate for increased payments to family physicians, which will attract medical students to the specialty and retain current family physicians;
  • Work with health insurance companies, as well as with the government, to encourage them to contribute to the costs of medical education;
  • Work with medical schools to attract the students who are most likely to select career paths and practice locations that will improve the current maldistribution of physicians;
  • Work with residency programs to better prepare family physicians to care for the evolving U.S. patient population greater training on care of older adults, health disparities and the management of complex patients with chronic illnesses;
  • Help establish a public-private entity to allocate funding for graduate medical education; and
  • Advocate for preferential funding to residency programs that support diversity and produce those physicians most likely to practice in underserved communities in rural or inner-city areas.

The American Academy of Family Physicians last approved a workforce policy in September 1998. The 1998 policy offered recommendations based on a scenario of 50 percent family physicians among all physic

Contact: Amanda Denning
American Academy of Family Physicians

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