Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Primary Care Doctors

I used to be a primary care physician, but switched to being a hospitalist in 2007. I loved parts about being a PCP, namely the relationship that I developed with the patient over many years. I miss that. I think PCPs offer huge value in providing low cost, quality care, especially if they can stay engaged throughout the hospitalization process. Atul Gawande recently wrote a powerful article on the Hospice system. It’s worth reading to being to understand the complex issues involved in end-of-life care, not to mention for the emotional storytelling that is his strength. But, to me, the unsung hero in that story was Chuck Morris, the primary care physician, who came in at the proper moment and provided perspective to the patient that he knew so well, allowing them to make the sane, yet horribly difficult decision to pursue a palliative path. Reading that made me miss primary care medicine a little. I perform much more actual “medical” work as a hospitalist than I ever did as a PCP. But, when I think of the concept of a doctor, in my head, I’m thinking of a primary care doc.