Health Care Reform Exemplifies Importance of Primary Care

August 13, 2017


American Medical Student Association Hosts
15th Annual National Primary Care Week

Sterling, VA—Hundreds of health professions students will celebrate National Primary Care Week (NPCW), a project of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), aimed at raising awareness of the need for primary care physicians and its impact on and importance to underserved populations. This year’s theme, “Step Up to Primary Care,” will focus on the importance of interdiscliplinary education and professionalism in primary care, and the critical need for advocacy and health policy reform to address disparities in health care access and outcomes, pertaining to race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic factors.

This year, AMSA is partnering with Primary Care Progress (PCP), a grassroots non-profit with thirty chapters across the country that seeks to increase the primary care workforce and to build future leaders in the field.

“The shortage of primary care physicians is about to be exacerbated by heath care reform,” says Sinthuya Selvendrarajah, NPCW coordinator. “There’s an estimated 31 million additional Americans that will gain access to health insurance under the new legislation. Our diligent efforts to insure all Americans will be wasted if there are no primary care providers to care for patients.”

The number of U.S. medical students opting for primary care careers does not meet the need for the recently passed legislation. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will bring an additional 32 million people into the health care system by 2014.

“There’s never been a more important time for the full primary care team to come together with a united voice to ensure all Americans have access to high value primary care; we believe trainees are a critical member of that team,” says Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer, president and founder of Primary Care Progress. As part of its efforts to draw support for increased primary care-oriented recruitment, mentoring and education opportunities at institutions that train health professionals, PCP is launching a new campaign called The Primary Care Project this NPCW.

“As the next generation of physicians, we have a duty to ensure that our patients receive the best care possible,” says Dr. Nida Degesys, AMSA’s national president. “Over the last decade, AMSA’s NPCW has been highly successful at highlighting the importance of primary care for the health of this nation.”

NPCW is funded in part by the AMSA Foundation through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, please visit: http://voicesforprimarycare.org/.
About Primary Care Progress
Primary Care Progress is a 501 (c)(3) national nonprofit. PCP is a growing network of medical providers, health professional trainees, policy pundits, advocates, and educators. We are a home to everyone under the primary care umbrella- and anyone else-who cares about the future of primary care in this country. Our members are united by a new vision for revitalizing the primary care workforce pipeline through strategic local advocacy that promotes primary care and transforms care delivery and training in academic settings.

About the American Medical Student Association

AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at www.amsa.org.