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Toward a New Definition of Primary Care: Primary care 3.0

Jay Parkinson thinking loud about our relation to ‘our’ Primary Care Physician’: is this age specific?

Jay Parkinson MD, MPH


For the last couple thousand years, doctors have used the same tool to treat their patients— an appointment, a physical room, a conversation, and a payment for the time. Communication and problem-solving has happened exclusively in the exam room. The average person age 18–65 visits the doctor 2.7 times a year and the average visit is ~10 minutes for a total of 27 minutes of doctor communication and problem-solving per year. Because it’s an oral conversation, full of anxiety and jargon, patients forget ~85% of the conversation. That’s ~4 minutes of memorable education/conversation per year. This is Primary Care 1.0. Primary Care 2.0 is today’s “innovative” versions of value-based primary care 1.0 designed to fit a square peg into a round hole. It’s the same office-based primary care 1.0 trying to fit itself into an insurance payment model that transfers risks away from insurance companies and onto primary care doctor…

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