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Comment & Response
January 2016

Supplementing the Role of Primary Care Physicians

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(1):139-140. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7163

To the Editor Park and colleagues found that primary care physicians (PCPs) often fail to deliver the robust smoking cessation services necessary to achieve high quit rates.1 Prior studies have found similar gaps in PCP services for unhealthy drinking, depression, obesity, and violence—other prevalent behavioral issues that the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends universal screening and intervention for. Additional studies have concluded that PCPs must improve their management of prevalent chronic diseases, the improved outcomes of which often depend on the patient sustaining difficult lifestyle changes. At the same time, a meager primary care workforce is needed to provide conventional diagnostic and treatment services to expanding numbers of elderly and insured patients.

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