Statement of primary care physicians

Monday, January 07
The following is a statement signed by 49 primary care physicians practicing in Berkshire County in November of 2007:

Without dramatic and fundamental reform in the payment and provision of primary care Berkshire County and many other regions of the country will soon suffer from a serious shortage of physicians. Young physicians no longer see primary care as a viable career option. Established physicians are discouraged and demoralized, increasingly unable to provide the level of expert, thoughtful, comprehensive, and quality care for which they have been trained.

Many factors have contributed to the decline in primary care medicine including inadequate funding and the intrusion of bureaucratic forces into the doctor-patient relationship. Studies show that robust primary care means better health at lower cost. Primary care is therefore where we need to invest our energies and resources. Our society can no longer afford and should not tolerate today's perverse payment formulas that punish primary care and reward unnecessary care. Nor can we afford the crushing managed care bureaucracy that is degrading the profession, driving doctors out of practice, and undermining the trust between doctors and patients.

As your primary care physicians we have devoted our professional lives to the care and well-being of our patients. We invite all concerned citizens to work with us to help avert a looming crisis in the availability and quality of health care. We will need your support for solutions that will provide and sustain the accessible, compassionate, comprehensive, accountable, and high quality health care that we all deserve.

List of signatories to the statement:

Stephen Alsdorf, M.D.; Gordon Bird, M.D.; Noel Blagg, M.D.; Paula Blagg, M.D.; John Burnham, M.D.; Steven Cherry, DO; Chi Cheung, M.D.; James Corkins, M.D.; Lindsay Crampton, M.D.; Charles D'Agostino, M.D.; Prakash Darji, M.D.; Marjorie Devries, M.D.

Mario Flores, M.D.; Ronald Goldfinger, M.D.; Harry Hartford, M.D.; Eugene Heyman, M.D.; Linda Hill, DO; Robert Jandl, M.D.; Thomas Kaegi, M.D.; Michael Kaplan, M.D.; Douglas Karrel, M.D.; Craig Kirby, DO; Jason Kittler, M.D.; William Kober, M.D.; Robert Lee, M.D.; Patricia Lehmann, M.D.; Todd Lepine, M.D.; Melanie Levitan, M.D.

Joan McFadden, M.D.; Michael McInerney, M.D.; Pamela Miller, M.D.; Michael Murray, M.D.; Lisa Nelson, M.D.; Douglas O'Neill, M.D.; Richard Perera, M.D.; James Peterson, M.D.; Andrew Potler, DO; Sharon Rawlings, M.D.; Andrew Schamess, M.D.; Alicia Skarimbas, M.D.; Mark Snowise, M.D.; Erwin Stuebner, M.D.; Shaohua Tang, M.D.; Susan Thompson, M.D.; Thomas Vaughan, M.D.; Robert Wespiser, M.D.; Alfred Wise, M.D.; Richard Wiseman, M.D.; Charles Wohl, M.D.


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