Chen, who practices in primary care once a week in an underserved area of Washington, thinks part of the answer is to ensure that primary care physicians are paid commensurate with the other specialties. "It's not just about paying primary physicians more; it's also about bringing down the pay of other physicians," she said.
It's also important for medical students and residents to understand the importance and personal rewards of a career in primary care, Chen said. "It's one of the hardest areas of practice, but physicians often are told they're too smart to go into family medicine."
For information about how to choose a primary care provider, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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