As we pause on July 4th to reflect on the spirit and sacrifice that created and sustains the independence of our great nation, the independence of the primary care practice is deserving of reflection and celebration as well.
Our nation’s primary care doctors are on the frontlines of our health care system caring for our families, young and old. They are our health care “home base” providing a continuity of care that can be measured in decades and not just in years. They help us navigate through complex chronic health issues and sometimes an equally complex health care system.
And yet as patients, we may not be aware of the pressures of sustaining a practice and thriving as both a medical professional and as a husband, wife, parent or adult child. The profession is demanding and, over the years, more challenging to be financially rewarding and perhaps at times personally fulfilling too. We see many doctors sell or close their practice opting for a more balanced life, higher income or a new challenge. And in our own surveys of primary care physician attitudes, the desire to remain independent rings very loudly. And with it comes a reality that practices need to consider how they must adapt to changing patient attitudes, new technologies, and more regulations to remain competitive, compliant and viable.
With the recent Supreme Court decision, more patients will be seeking the care provided by our nation’s primary care physicians in the coming years. In the meantime, today’s independent primary care practice will continue to treat our families and ourselves each day with the greatest care and concern. So this July 4th, let’s celebrate the vital work our primary care physicians do to help us strive for our own health independence.