Special reports air on Morning Edition Wednesday, May 14 through Friday, May 16 at 7:40 a.m. Where We Live will present the full documentary Friday, May 16 at 9 a.m. with a repeat broadcast at 8 p.m.
The Doctor Can't See You Now is a collaboration between WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio's Health Reporting Initiative and WBUR â€“ Boston.
One of the fundamentals of medicine in the U.S. is primary care. In The Doctor Canâ€™t See You Now, reporter Rachel Gotbaum tells a story about the changing roles of the family practitioner and internal medicine doctors, both historically and today. It is the story of how the complexity of the modern healthcare environment, the aging population and new attitudes towards practicing medicine among doctors, have transformed the pivotal role of the doctor at the center of a patient's medical journey.Â Â
The result, in the short term, is that patients are finding it harder and harder to get in to see a primary care physician. In the longer term, many policy makers and practitioners think that a lack of focus on primary care across the country means that we are losing out on an important way of improving the nation's health and reducing the spiraling costs of healthcare.
Gotbaum reports on why seasoned primary care doctors are leaving their practices, and how too many newly trained doctors are making the decision that primary care is an untenable career. A majority of younger doctors are choosing instead to go into specialties where the hours are more regular and the pay more rewarding. She tells a story based in the neighboring states of Connecticut and Massachusetts, which reveals their very different approaches to healthcare.
The Doctor Canâ€™t See You Now is produced by WBUR's Inside Out Documentary Unit in collaboration with WNPR's Health Reporting Initiative. It is a timely and important program, examining what lies behind the crisis and what is being done to address it.
Listen to WNPR's Morning Edition on Wednesday, May 14 through Friday, May 16 at 7:40 a.m. for a series of special reports. Then, on Friday, May 16, WNPR's Where We Live presents the full documentary, The Doctor Can't See You Now.
For more information on this series, and facts about the primary care crisis and its history, visit our website.