Regarding the Feb. 12 Business article on primary care physicians:
As a primary care physician, I agree with the assessment that financially it is madness to enter a primary care field when the specialty fields are so much more lucrative and not as medically complex. But there is a solution to the shortage of primary care physicians.
First, specialty boards can restrict the number of residents being trained in each specialty, thus assuring more primary care residents.
Second, Medicare and other insurances can alter the fee schedule to assure more equality in reimbursement, essentially giving primary care doctors higher salaries and specialists lower ones, which will not only create more primary care physicians but will also save Medicare a lot of money. The free market does not determine how many specialists there are and what they earn. Those numbers are determined by insurance companies and medical boards, many of which are dominated by specialists.
Fix the math, and you will remedy the primary care shortage and much of the upward-spiraling cost of medicine. It can be done overnight and is not as complicated as the pundits make it out to be.
Andy Lazris, Ellicott City