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Out of PracticeFighting for Primary Care Medicine in America$
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Frederick M. MD Barken

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449765

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449765.001.0001

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On the Road Again

On the Road Again

(p.111) 6 On the Road Again
Out of Practice

Frederick M. Barken

Cornell University Press

This chapter reflects on the importance of home visits as part of a primary care physician's job. It explains how a home visit used to be intimate and personal care by a physician for a patient, long before the modern era of industrialized medicine in which providers deliver services to health care consumers under contract with third-party insurers. The chapter argues that home visits seem so simple and appealing, yet the house call had never beceme a routine part of his practice. It suggests that physicians have lost a critical social skill: how to pay a visit. It goes on to explain why today's physicians have foregone the art of the social call and suggests that modern home health care, if it is to succeed, will require a reunification of purpose between doctors and nurses as well as a redoubling of effort toward a new common goal: care of the chronically ill and elderly in the comfortable and familiar setting of the home.

Keywords:   home visits, primary care, house call, home health care, physicians, nurses, chronically ill, elderly

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