I’ve been working in health care in New Mexico for almost 37 years. That is a long time. Much has gotten better, like access and consistent opportunities for care, and much has gotten worse such as the cost of health insurance, testing and invasive medicine and, most drastically, the distribution of training between primary care specialties and sub-specialties. What this translates into is a physician workforce that is not focused on prevention or health, but extending life through advanced technical interventions. The results are high costs and poor quality of life. And when you combine that with a society that values looks over longevity in almost everything material and sentient, then “Houston we’ve got a problem”.
So how do you change the mix of primary care providers to subspecialists over time? How do you ensure consistent access to primary care services in a system that is purposely designed as a revolving door of provider vacancies?
What can be done to cure the problem rather than treat it? Enter the New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium. Perspectives of the NMPCTC include developing a network of high quality primary care training programs across the state in decentralized training locations. It builds upon the strengths of community providers while building a culture of local health professional development that will improve provider longevity and therefore patient care and outcomes.
Our goals include working with existing family residency programs in Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Silver City and Albuquerque to increase the quality of medical school grads training at residency programs in the state, improve training in all training locations and increase the numbers and distribution of primary care training in a hub and spoke model of inter-related training programs.
We are just getting started. We have a great, board of director comprised of residency program directors who are visionary and dedicated to this work, we have full and part time staff, we partners in Medicaid and UNM and in other states and we are currently well funded. We look forward to working with you and if you are reading this you have an interest in our work and should contact us for further engagement. Please do.