Regarding “Med school numbers rise, residency slots stay flat," (Oct. 26), although the numbers of entering medical school students is interesting, the real issue is quite different from just pure numbers. What are we doing holistically to reshape our physician specialties to again enforce, register, empower, energize and hold accountable more physicians graduating in family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics?
To achieve the more preferred balance of primary-care physicians to other specialists we must have changes in public policy, funding of graduate specialty programs, countrywide emphasis on primary-care physicians' pivotal importance to accomplish a more coordinated, efficient and quality healthcare-delivery system.
Additionally, reform to reapportion (not add to) is necessary within the global payments to physicians to pay primary-care physicians adequately for this emerging but historical role. Currently America turns out three specialists for every primary-care physician, it must be the reverse as seen in those countries that benefit from superior population health at a lower cost.
Robert Forster, M.D.Sacramento, Calif.
Editor's Note: For more information on medical school enrollment trends, view this issue's By the Numbers section.