In his editorial, Dr. Hickner posed an important question: Have family physicians abandoned acute care? (J Fam Pract. 2013;62:333). My answer is Yes, they have abandoned acute care—and a lot more. FPs no longer do hospital care, obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, gynecology, procedures, or continuity care. FPs have been so dumbed down, there is nothing they do that a mid-level cannot do.
I have been practicing family medicine for more than 25 years. I’m still delivering babies, doing hospital work and office surgical procedures, and coming in after hours to see patients, but I am looked upon as a museum piece by other physicians in my area.
So I’ll pose another question to my colleagues here: What, exactly, is the role of a family physician in today’s brave new health care model?
Keith Stafford, MD