Why (not) Family Medicine? Paul Grundy, MD, MPH

Why (not) Family Medicine? is a series of posts from health care thought leaders, both inside and outside of Family Medicine. These will be posted every Friday. The participants were asked to focus on whatever they wanted in response to this question. We are glad that so many of these impressive leaders were willing to participate, and we hope that you enjoy their responses!

Family medicine is the foundation of the delivery system of the future. In the next 10 years, we will be living in a 1) much more mobile world, 2) in the middle of an aging and chronic disease epidemic, but 3) we will also have the ability to analyze data in a more cognitive way. This will do for doctors’ minds what X-ray and medical imaging have done for their vision. How? By turning data into actionable information. We need the basic foundation to support this transformation, a system integrator where data at the level of a patient flows and is held accountable—that model is the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). This starts to happen when clinicians/healers step up to comprehensive, relationship-based care, empowered by tools to manage the data and communicate effectively. This move to PCMH-level care requires the Family Physician to have the discipline of leading a team that delivers population health management, patent-centered prevention, care that is coordinated, comprehensive, 24/7 accessible, and integrated across a deliver system; all of that is powered by data made into meaningful information. But at its core it is a move toward integration of a healing relationship in Family Medicine, and population management all at the point of care with the tools to do just that. The Family Physician is the Comprehensivist upon which our future, patient-centered, value-based, and population-focused health care is built.

Paul Grundy, MD, MPH is the Chief Medical Officer and Global Director of Healthcare Transformation for IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences. He is also a founder of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (https://pcpcc.org/), and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine 

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