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Academia, Chronic Care, and the Future of Primary Care

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Most proposals to reform health care delivery center on a robust, well-designed primary care sector capable of reducing the health and cost consequences of major chronic illnesses. Ironically, the intensified policy interest in primary care coincides with a steep decline in the proportion of medical students choosing primary care careers. Negativity stemming from the experience of trying to care for chronically ill patients with complex conditions in poorly designed, chaotic primary care teaching settings may be influencing trainees to choose other career paths. Redesigning teaching clinics so that they routinely provide high quality, well-organized chronic care would appear to be a critical early step in addressing the looming primary care workforce crisis. The Chronic Care Model provides a proven framework for such a redesign, and has been, with organizational support and effort, successfully implemented in academic settings.

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Funded in part by the California HealthCare Foundation.

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Correspondence to Edward H. Wagner MD, MPH, MACP.

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Wagner, E.H. Academia, Chronic Care, and the Future of Primary Care. J GEN INTERN MED 25 (Suppl 4), 636–638 (2010).

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