The primary care workforce is on the front lines of the health care system and is essential to ensuring the public's health. Half of primary care visits in the U.S. occur in independent practices, and primary care is the only component of our health care system where an increased supply is directly associated with better population health and more equitable outcomes.
Despite this, underinvestment in primary care has been a chronic problem in America. And now almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the challenge has taken on new urgency. Primary care is grappling with an acute workforce shortage, where not only primary care clinicians, but also clinical support staff, are in short supply.