Physicians go into medicine because they want to make a difference, and it is the daily opportunity to help patients that keeps many of them going. Yet today many worry that their contribution is diminishing, and more and more physicians are reporting burnout. Many factors are responsible: increasing productivity demands, decreasing amounts of face time with patients, and a growing awareness that they are spending more time on activities such as record-keeping that don’t enhance their patients’ health.
Such concerns sound especially familiar to many of the 210,000 or so U.S. primary care physicians, a group that includes family physicians, general practitioners, general internists, general pediatricians, and geriatricians. Though they comprise less than one third of all physicians, they account for half of all physician office visits, and for most patients, they are the physicians of first resort.
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