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National Primary Care Week (NPCW) November 1-5, 2010

By Carl G. Streed Jr.

National Primary Care Week serves as a time to highlight the importance of primary care. In an effort to stress the need for additional primary care professionals, medical schools across the nation will be organizing with the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) to bring health care professionals together to discuss and learn about generalist and interdisciplinary health care.

From the AMSA webpage:

NPCW aims to focus the attention of health professional students from all disciplines on the failure of the healthcare system to provide equal, high quality health care to all individuals, regardless of ethnicity, race and other factors, and to provide students with the tools to address these inequalities

Whenever I see the phrase “National Primary Care Week,” I think, “Isn’t every week primary care week?” We should be thinking about how to provide “equal, high quality health care” all of the time. We should be providing care to everyone “regardless of ethnicity, race and other factors,” all of the time.

Yet, this week dedicated to focusing on primary care reminds us that we aren’t always providing the best care to everyone equally. This week serves to reinforce our ideals of equitable care for all at a time when it’s not being provided and when we are tired from working within a system that does not make it easy for us to provide such care.

For me, National Primary Care Week will remind me that though it may not be obvious, others are indeed working to better care for all of our patients and that I am not alone in trying to improve health care.

Note: As part of National Primary Care Week, AMSA is hosting a Preventive Medicine Webinar: Healthcare Reform, Preventing Medicine and the Future of Patient Care on November 5thRegister Here

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