Primary Care Is Getting Hit On the Head

Primary Care Is Getting Hit On the Head

Dana Corriel, MD suggests that there's more to the picture than what you see on the screen, in primary care. Someone else is writing the script.

Primary care doctors keep “getting hit on the head” behind the scenes. And I’m not talking about a nice, gentle pat.

I’m talking “getting hit on the head” as in full-on cartoon style slam-fest; as in, getting it on the head with a skillet, or mallet, or whatever other hard-thing-imagery helps you visualize this in a way that makes sense (and makes you cringe)

Patients don’t actually get to see what primary care doctors have to struggle with. The workload alone! It is well beyond the doctors’ control, despite what others may have you believe. The true inner workings of this convoluted beast is, more often than not, concealed from patient view.

I often hear patients mumble, in fact, that we “booked too many patients”. That we’re “creating this machine”.

The blame is exactly where the system wants it to be – putting the doctor at the center of it all. It is exactly what this mischievous system wants you to think.

Adding layers by those at the top ensures that distance exists between physicians and the powers that make the rules.

It also ensures confusion. No one ever really knows why difficult, cumbersome, and even unnecessary steps (in the workday of a physician, or the workflow of a patient interaction) get implemented, for example. They’re just there. It’s often purposely difficult, in fact, to trace back an unnecessary step to how – or why – that step got started in the first place.

What you get is an illusion.

The patient thinks it’s the doctor who either doesn’t care, or is incompetent.


What you get is an illusion. The patients thinks it’s the doctor who either doesn’t care, or is incompetent. Click To Tweet


Then we wonder why the very people that dedicate their lives to healing have lost respect, over time. They don’t actually have time for marketing, as other often less qualified individuals do, to say they can “help you for only 10 easy installments of a $bagillion.97”. And let’s be honest, it’s much easier to get away with such claims when you’re less qualified, but have had time to spend on perfecting your charisma.

The result? All-around distrust.

It’s basically all become one big movie. And someone else is writing the script. Pun intended.


Primary Care Is Getting Hit On the Head Click To Tweet


Let’s face it, my friends. Everything has happened because of our not being in control of this “illusion”. It’s all inside of a narrative being told by someone else.

Most of us in this position, today, basically did what we were supposed to do all of the years, like good little boys and girls.

We worked hard, we studied hard, we got good grades and became really, really good at medicine. Or at least in whatever it is that our schools decided it needed insert into its curriculum.

(Who runs these schools, anyway? I mean, it’s time for a revamp, people! We’re not in Kansas anymore!)

But here’s where we‘ve been fooled.


Convince someone you’re REALLY clever. Or really good at what you do. Even if you aren’t, you can say that you are, or create pictures that say it. And people come.

Which is why my time is now fully spent on redirecting that “control factor” that we so badly need. On learning tools of social media. Of communication. Of writing and of marketing. Entrepreneurship skills, too!

It’s time for doctors to regain control. For patients, for better relationships, and for health.

Oh yeah, and I’m running a conference or 2. Or 3 or 4. First stop? Let’s learn what it means to be entrepreneurs!

Entrepreneurship & Networking For Doctors: March 3-5, 2023

Join us for this 3-day virtual experience, full of lectures, connections, and growth. More details here.

Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.


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Sherita D. Gaskins-Tillett, MD

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