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Invited Commentary
January 2019

Anatomy and Physiology of Primary Care Teams

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Excellence in Primary Care, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(1):61-62. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5550

Health care teams have a structure (anatomy) and culture (physiology). Team structure has 2 facets: (1) who is on the team and (2) how stable is the team. Primary care teams are often composed of a core team or teamlet (clinicians working with medical assistants) and an extended-care team (registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and behaviorists) that supports several core teams. Team stability means that members of the team always work together and patients on the team’s panel receive all care from their team.

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