Dr. Glen Stream, a family physician practicing in La Quinta, California, is past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He serves as the President and Board Chair of Family Medicine for America’s Health.
It certainly doesn’t sound like a radical notion, but the idea of putting patients first is creating something of a revolution in healthcare that is lowering costs while delivering high-quality care to millions of Americans.
They’re miracles of modern medicine—vaccines that have seen the virtual eradication of diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles in the United States, and complete eradication of small pox around the world.
As a primary care physician, my responsibility to my patients goes beyond just caring for their physical well-being. My obligation—professional and ethical—is to treat the whole person and that means attending to their mental health as well.
A troubling new study about the “unhealthy behaviors” of millions of Americans documented a reality that has increasingly become all too familiar to me and the 209,000 other primary care physicians in the United States—more than 25 million adults have at least three behaviors that inevitably lead to poor health.