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  • Healthcare issues across the globe: Part I

    By Aliye Runyan, MD
    AMSA Education and Research Fellow

    I recently attended the America's medical education meeting and IFMSA general assembly. There was very interesting and often passionate discussion on the importance of primary care, and how it is practiced in various countries in the Americas. There is consensus that quality of care is important, and that culturally sensitive standards for quality of medical care must be developed. Most agree than universal curricula are not the answer. The point was made that primary care is a critical part of comprehensive health care services, and not an end in itself – there is obvious need for specialists in many cases. The point was made that primary care must be incentivized, respected, and treated with the same standards as any other specialty, as well as taught (and experienced by students) from the first year of medical school. Using evidence based medicine was brought up multiple times – as this may not be the cultural norm.

    Some of the faculty brought up criticisms of the Alma Ata declaration of 1978 (the first international declaration to underline the importance of primary care for all) by stating that it prompted some countries to focus on ...

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  • Primary Care is....

    ....the underdog. Is undervalued. Is misunderstood. Is antiquated. Is dysfunctional. Needs a makeover. Could use a LOUD cheerleading section.

    Is brimming with hope. Is timeless. Makes communities healthier. Is team-based care. Is the future of health care. Is THE place for higher quality care and lower spending.

    Today we start celebrating National Primary Care Week. Let's give primary care a voice - your voice!

    1. Print the “Primary Care…” signboard. Write what primary care means to you on any sheet of paper.
    2. Write out your message. Need inspiration? Click here
    3. Have someone take your picture, aiming for a head and shoulders shot but feel free to get creative. The important thing is that the message is clear and visible.
    4. Get it to us! Upload it using the upload bar on this page. Tweet it using the hashtag #voicesforpcare. Or email it to us at

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  • Reflecting on National Primary Care Week

    Hi, my name is Angela Kuznia, I am a fourth year medical student and chair of AMSA’s National Primary Care Week (NPCW) 2011 planning committee. This is my second year serving in this position, and my fourth year celebrating NPCW. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my NPCW experiences and my own path towards a career in primary care.

    NPCW 2008: I was a first year medical student and new AMSA member at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. I was knee-deep in textbooks, class notes, and flashcards, with highlighter stains on my hands (and sometimes my sheets), learning to survive my first semester of medical school. I attended several lunchtime NPCW events hosted by my school’s AMSA chapter and learned about opportunities for primary care physicians in the National Health Service Corps and various career paths in primary care. This was my first real introduction to AMSA as well, and it gave me a much needed big-picture perspective on medicine at a time when I was busy memorizing biochemical pathways and physiology equations.

    NPCW 2009: I had survived the academic rigors of my first year, and was soaking up as much knowledge as possible ...

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