The Past and Future of Primary Care


Medical care and primary care were at one time synonymous. All health care was primary. The concept and terminology of primary care came into widespread use during the 1960s, reflecting a specific policy agenda: bolstering the role of the generalist physician, which had changed dramatically following World War II. In this talk, Dr. Howell will describe the transformation of the nineteenth-century physician making house calls on horseback into the twenty-first-century primary care physician contemplating the electronic records of her patient population. The essential point is that “primary care” was born out of tension with other forms of medical care. In the future, primary care will be reinvented, and changes will be caused by the sorts of external social, political, and economic forces that previously led to systemic transformation.
Joel Howell, MD, PhD
Victor Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine, Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, History, and Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan
Recorded February 13, 2013


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