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More than a third of primary care delivered by specialty doctors

The Washington Post, August 23, 2012

41 percent of our most basic healthcare needs, the fevers and colds we all get, are taken care of by higher-paid specialty doctors. Mount Sinai's Minal Kale lead a team of researchers that combed through data on more than 20,000 doctor visits in 1999 and 2007. All of it had information on why the individual turned up at the doctor's office, whether it was a runny nose (not so serious) or a heart attack (decidedly more serious). Their results, just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine: 59 percent of those with primary care needs, the people in the runny nose group, were seen by a primary care doctor. Forty-one percent sought out care at a specialist.