Strong primary care leads to better health, improved patient outcomes, and lower-cost care. However, U.S. healthcare is more expensive than in any other industrialized country, even though our quality and safety rankings are often mediocre or worse. One of the best ways to reduce costs and improve quality is to increase the primacy of primary care.
Primary care in the U.S. is in crisis. We invest less proportionally in primary care than any other developed nation. Primary care providers are underpaid and overworked compared to most other medical specialties. Many providers are disillusioned and few students are going into primary care.
Primary Care at Harvard
In October 2009, Jeffrey Flier, Dean of Harvard Medical School, established a primary care advisory group that solicited input throughout the Harvard community, reviewed literature, and spoke with experts from the U.S. and abroad. The advisory group recommended the creation of a center of excellence in primary care at Harvard Medical School.
Establishment of the Center
On Oct. 28, 2010, Dean Flier announced the launch of the new Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care. The formation of the center was made possible by a $30 million anonymous gift.
The Center serves students, residents, fellows, faculty, and staff throughout the Harvard-affiliated primary care community.