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Dean of Quinnipiac University's New Medical School Testifies Before Senate Subcommittee on Successful Primary Care Programs
Date:4/24/2013

ime in a primary care physician’s office starting freshman year; and a concentration and capstone experience in either global, public, and community health; health policy advocacy; health management and leadership; health communication; medical education; medical humanities; or translational, clinical and basic science research.

Limiting debt for students tracking into primary care is key Koeppen says that when it is fully funded, Quinnipiac’s Primary Care Fellowship, established by its Board of Trustees, will waive tuition for every student who commits to practicing primary care at least four years after they complete their residency training.

According to Koeppen, resident physicians who start out on a path to a primary care career may be diverted during the course of their residency training. He says an effort must be made to embed residency programs into settings where high quality primary care is being provided. As a good first step, he cites the Affordable Care Act’s three year grant for the “Teaching Health Center” program, which allows Community Health Centers to establish residency programs to train physicians who would then stay on to practice primary care in that setting.

“We need to expand the number of federally funded residency positions in the country, and weight those toward primary care disciplines,” Koeppen said. “This is critical if we are to address the looming primary care physician shortage. We also need to change the perception that primary care medicine is boring and that only specialists see interesting cases. The real truth is those interesting patients often see the specialist by a referral from the primary care physician.

“If we establish primary care teams that consist of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, occupational and physical therapists, nutritionists, behavior health specialists, and states allow these individuals to practice at the top of their training, rather than at the
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