Usually in this space, you’d find the “Dean’s Perspective” by Howard Part, M.D., dean of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. But in this issue you’ll find him in the “Second Opinion” column on page 16, where he reflects on why he chose a career in primary care. It took a little arm-twisting to convince Dr. Part to share his story with us, but I think you’ll find his reminiscences on his father’s 40 years as a physician in Harlem insightful.
Life experiences often guide a physician’s career choice, just as they did for the dean. Cynthia Olsen, M.D., was also influenced in her career path by her father, a teacher and researcher in virology and immunology who developed the first feline leukemia vaccine. But after five years of lab work as an undergrad, Dr. Olsen decided research was too isolating and enrolled in medical school at Wright State. You can read more about her career as a small-town doctor and Boonshoft School of Medicine faculty member on page 18.
During the ongoing national debate about health care reform, the need for primary care physicians has played a central role in discussions on improving care while lowering costs. To learn why the number of new primary care physicians continues its precipitous decline just when the need has never been greater, read our in-depth report “Wanted: Primary care physicians” on page 8.
As always, we’d love to hear what you think about this story or any of the other articles featured in Vital Signs. Send us your comments, suggestions, or story ideas. We want to hear from you.
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