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Have Primary care physicians gone the way of the dinosaur?

It should have been a prideful occasion. Dr. Adam Jarrett, who was in the very first class of residents at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical School in 1992 to train in a new program focusing on primary care, was recently invited back to his alma mater. He was there to discuss job opportunities with a group of fresh-faced primary care students getting ready to go out into the world themselves. There was just one problem.

“I don’t think there was a single person in the room who wanted to pursue primary care. Some were going on to law school, some were going to work for the FDA, some were going into hospital administration,” he said. “This was the crème de la crème of the class. And at some earlier point they all at least THOUGHT they wanted to do primary care because they went into a program geared toward it.”

So what happened? Is primary care no longer that “primary”?

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