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Stuart Pollack is a primary care internist and medical director of Brigham and Women's Advanced Primary Care Associates. The clinic, an innovative patient-centered medical home model, opened in 2011 as a demonstration project to test a team-based approach in primary care. Dr. Pollack is a primary care leader who we believe demonstrates the characteristics needed in future primary care leaders. Our director of media and communications, Jenette Restivo, asked Dr. Pollack some questions about his work. Here’s what he said.

JR: Dr. Pollack, you say that the primary goal of the clinic was always the quadruple aim – higher quality, greater satisfaction, lower cost, and provider sustainability. Secondarily, the goal was learning to teach trainees to deliver care in a team-based environment, serving as a learning lab for the Brigham and its vast primary care network.  Can you explain why it was so important to adopt a team-based approach at Advanced Primary Care Associates?

Posted by Sonya Collins on Apr 16, 2015 10:48 AM EDT
Today on the blog, Duke Family Medicine Residency's program director gives us a look behind the scenes at this year's interview process and shares her excitement about the incoming crop of residents (spoiler: two of them are from PCP!).

By Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, M.D.

It was that time of the year. Match Day was approaching, and some nights I would lie awake, wondering who our new interns would be.
I would think of the outstanding young men and women we interviewed this recruiting season for the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program and the amazing conversations that often felt rushed in a 30-minute interview, feeling that I had just met a peer, a soul mate, a passionate advocate, someone with an extremely intelligent mind. I would think of the wealth of information they shared, their willingness, their passion and what steps they had taken in their lives to be sitting in front me, a program director in a family medicine residency program in an academic medical center.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Apr 14, 2015 12:22 PM EDT
State and federal regulations aim to measure and improve the value and quality of health care. But this primary care doctor says they're measuring the wrong things. 

By Andy Lazris, M.D.

When I was a resident at University of Virginia, my wisest mentors gave me one piece of advice that far exceeded all the scientific and statistical jargon that others expected me to swallow. Consider this: When patients walk into your room and sit down, shut up and look into their eyes. When they are done talking, have a conversation. The key word is conversation. The visit should not include a lecture or statistics that diminish the complex needs and wants of the person sitting in front of us. Primary care doctors who care for the elderly and chronically ill confront a plethora of medical problems in virtually every patient who walks through our doors. To solve them all is not possible and may not be what the patient wants. As my mentor told me, unless you address the patients’ concerns, they will hear nothing else that spews from your mouth.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Apr 9, 2015 10:26 AM EDT
This medical student had always heard of patient-centered care but it wasn't until she joined this innovative group that she saw it in action.

By Mara Gordon

When I showed up to my first Stress In Pregnancy: Improving Results with Interactive Technology (SPIRIT) meeting last summer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. SPIRIT is a participatory research group, meaning that patients, providers and clinic administrators all work together on projects. Based in the Helen O. Dickens Center for Women’s Health at the University of Pennsylvania, SPIRIT got started to help address disparities in mental health services for pregnant women from underserved communities. Depression in pregnancy is a sticky subject, and many women feel afraid to ask for help. So why not involve them in the process? 

Posted by Sonya Collins on Apr 7, 2015 7:19 AM EDT

Rx: The Quiet Revolution premieres on PBS tonight at 9pm ET. PCP is a proud supporter of this documentary that showcases innovation and teamwork in primary care. Today the editor of Progress Notes talks about the screening last month in Atlanta.

By Sonya Collins

Last month, I attended a screening of clips from Rx: The Quiet Revolution. In a small theater at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, we watched about four clips from the film and got some commentary from David Grubin, the film’s director, in between clips. But I want to talk about the conversation that took place after the screening.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Apr 2, 2015 10:38 AM EDT
Rx: The Quiet Revolution premieres on PBS this Thursday, April 2, at 9pm ET. PCP is a proud supporter of this documentary that showcases innovation and teamwork in primary care. Today on the blog, we have a Q&A with our director of media and communications, Jenette Restivo, and the film's director, David Grubin.

JR: Why did you want to make a film about primary care? 
DG: My father was a general practitioner, and I learned from him that primary care is where the action is.  There’s plenty of excitement for a filmmaker in the emergency room, or in the operating theater, but that’s not where the challenges to our health care system are.  Fifty percent of Americans have a chronic illness.  One in four have two or more chronic illnesses.  And 75 cents of every health care dollar is for treating chronic illness.  If the film could show the innovations in primary care practice, it could make a real contribution.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 31, 2015 12:34 PM EDT
Today on Progress Notes, a podiatrist encourages primary care practitioners not to forget their patients' feet in routine exams.

By Lori Weisenfeld, DPM

When I was a resident, I saw a middle-aged man, “Charles,” who came into the hospital after playing a round and a half of golf. When I looked at his right foot, he had an ulcer in the shape of a golf tee. He had played the entire day with a golf tee in his shoe and only noticed when he found drainage on his sock. The story sticks in my mind because he was the first person I ever had to tell that he might have to have his foot amputated. It turned out that he had been diagnosed with diabetes, but he never complained about his feet so nobody ever checked them. He never complained because he had neuropathy, so he never felt anything.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 26, 2015 10:50 AM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. Here's Devorah Donnell, our training and engagement fellow.

By Devorah Donnell

“I have no idea how I’ll choose an age group because I love them all.” I can’t count how many times I said that during my first and second years of medical school, but I do remember the first time I saw the three generations of care that are possible in family medicine while at my family medicine continuity clinic. I remember the grandmother was there for her visit, accompanied by her daughter and grandson, who were also my preceptor’s patients. I realized early in medical school that family medicine is my best fit. I love caring for children, teenagers, adults and seniors, with continuity and comprehensive care and the extra bonus of also being able to do procedures. Though family medicine residencies meet the same core requirements, programs around the country are very different — so how do you choose? 

Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 2:25 PM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. Here's Chloe Ciccariello, one of our clinical innovation fellows.

By Chloe Ciccariello

When I think of the interview trail, I actually don’t think about the “interview trail.” There are no black suits, high heels clicking on the linoleum hospital tile or boxed sandwiches in my memory. Instead, I remember a crowded pool hall in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where I hear someone scream my name and, before I know what is happening, I  am bombarded by a huge hug. It’s a friend I met along the interview trail as we interviewed for primary care programs in California. To onlookers, it probably looked as though we had known each other for a lifetime, rather than just a few days. 

Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 12:23 PM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. First, Jonathan Jimenez, one of our clinical innovation fellows.

By Jonathan Jimenez

Many fourth-year students look for specific characteristics in their ideal family medicine residency: Does it provide strong rural training? Do the residents pass the beer rule?  Is the city a place that I (and my partner) could live? All of these factors, and others, were important and played a significant role in my rank list. But throughout my research, visits and many conversations with applicants, residents and interviewers, another important variable came into relief. 
Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 10:03 AM EDT
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Most Recent Comments

Wow, I had no idea that it was so hard for a general physician to enter back into medical practice after being out of it....
Thanks for sharing, Mara. I totally agree that patient input makes everything more powerful! It's great to see how t...
I like your point about good primary care physicians having the ability to converse with people, and enjoying getti...
I'm so glad you shared your experience, David. We've been watching your team take on this tremendous task with such e...
Thanks for sharing this piece. How wonderful that you were able to build such a close relationship with your patient...


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