ACP supports announcement of investments in expansion of primary care workforce

June 16, 2010

WASHINGTON June 16, 2010 - The American College of Physicians (ACP) today said it supports the announcements of $250 million in investments to expand the primary care workforce by President Obama and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Today's presidential and HHS announcements made specific reference to workforce training as "part of a larger effort to make our system work better for nurses, doctors and patients - and to improve the quality of care." The announcements also noted that focusing on primary medicine will recognize the talents and skills of everyone involved.

"ACP -- just as the President does -- supports greater incentives for careers in primary care for doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners," said J. Fred Ralston, Jr., MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians. "This is critical in order to better prepare primary care health professionals to provide team-based, patient-centered care in which physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants work together as described in the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home."

As noted in two of its recent policy monographs, ACP supports the critical roles physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and physicians play in improving access to high-quality primary care.

In fact, the ACP policy monograph on NPs concluded:

"The future of health care delivery will require multidisciplinary teams of health care professionals that collaborate to provide patient-centered care. The key to high performance in multidisciplinary teams is an understanding of the distinctive roles, skills, and values of all team members. Just as the ACP celebrates the special attributes and capabilities of advanced practice nurses, it recognizes the unique role that a personal physician plays in patient care. Advanced practice nursing should not substitute for nor replace primary care medical practice as provided by general internists, family physicians, and other physicians. Physicians and NPs not only share a commitment to providing high-quality care, but also face similar challenges regarding reimbursement and workforce outlook. Recognizing and building on the common ground between the two professions is vital to improving collaboration to meet the complex health care needs of the population."
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The American College of Physicians (www.acponline.org) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 129,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter (www.twitter.com/acpinternists) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/acpinternists).

American College of Physicians

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