The U.S. is witnessing a decline in the number of primary-care physicians, with many Americans struggling to find a family doctor. A study reveals that while the overall cancer incidence has decreased, liver cancer rates have surged by 48% since 2000. This decline is attributed to various factors, including the financial challenges faced by primary-care doctors due to the U.S. health system’s payment structure, which often favors surgeries and procedures over preventive care.
Many primary-care doctors, feeling undervalued and financially strained, have sold their practices to health systems or commercial management chains, leading to three-quarters of doctors becoming employees of these entities. The shift has sometimes resulted in reduced patient care quality, with doctors being overburdened and lacking adequate support. The article emphasizes the need for systemic changes, such as increased reimbursement for primary-care visits and potential medical school debt forgiveness for those choosing primary care as a profession, to address this growing concern.