In the class I teach on chronic illness for UC Davis medical students, I am trying to get my students to see illness in a new way. I want them to be more pro-active rather than simply re-active, to anticipate their patients’ diseases and conditions, and to help their patients stay healthy, rather than treating them only when they are sick. I believe this is not only the right thing to do. It may also be the only way our family medicine physicians will be able to cope with the rising pressures coming with an aging population and an expanded workload brought about by the recently passed federal health reform, which will broaden access to health care for millions who have not had it.
Author: Ronald Fong. M.D.
Dr. Ronald Fong at UC Davis created a weight management clinic that asks patients to take the lead in fighting their own obesity. But Fong walks by their side — literally, in an initial meeting during which he takes them out of the office for a stroll and a conversation.
Every spring around this time, thousands of graduating medical school students get matched with residency positions at hospitals and clinics across the country, the final stage in their training to become doctors practicing on their own. This year’s match game carried some good news: 91.4 percent of the openings for family medicine residencies were filled by the graduates, the highest percentage ever. But there was a catch: the percentage of positions filled went up in part because the number of positions available went down, the result of several family medicine residency programs closing within the last decade.