Harvard Medical School has received an anonymous $30 million gift that will be used to boost the unglamorous and often neglected field of primary care.
The goal of the center is to re-energize the beleaguered field with new research, education and training at a time when demand for primary care doctors is on the rise.
Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer founded the group Primary Care Progress and helped build support for the center.
"This center really has the potential to be transformative locally, not just in terms of education but also in terms of community practices and the academic practices," Morris-Singer says.
Primary care doctors, often the first line in medical care, are often overworked and underpaid when compared to specialists, which has led to a critical shortage of the frontline physicians.
Dean Jeffrey Flier says the gift will boost the salaries of 20 to 30 faculty, expand the primary care curriculum, and fund research into ways that make primary care medicine more efficient and more attractive to young doctors.
Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco, tells The Boston Globe that just 9 percent of graduating medical students are entering the primary care field.
This program aired on October 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.