Primary Concern

"From the Georgia perspective, maybe perhaps more so at the federal level, we've got to educate. We've got to help make this a priority and a front burner kind of issue."
                                                                                                                                             Hon. Cecil Staton, Georgia State Senator



PRIMARY CONCERN
, is an hour long documentary by Renée McKay and Joani Livingston. The film takes us to the front lines of the looming national health care crisis by more closely examining the lives of primary care practitioners in rural Georgia.

Why focus on Georgia? A microcosm of what's happening all across America, Georgia has a dire physician shortage. It is the 9th most populous state and the 5th fastest growing state in the nation. Yet, without changes in the state's medical education system, Georgia will rank last in the United States in physicians per capita by 2020. Without immediate statewide cooperation in expanding medical education and residency programs, the state may never again have an adequate supply of physicians.

The prognosis worsens for shortages in primary care for Georgia and throughout the U.S. There are more patients waiting to see fewer and fewer doctors. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2015, in just one year, the U.S. will be 63,000 doctors short of the number we need. And that number could double by 2025.

PRIMARY CONCERN is a story of compassion and perseverance against enormous odds: the dangerous demographic shift of baby boomers and the health care workforce aging simultaneously, the influx of an additional 30 million people seeking access to care who will be covered by the Affordable Care Act, and very few medical students going into primary care and not enough residencies for those who actually do. Primary care doctors in rural and underserved areas in Georgia are already stretched thin as the first responders. How much longer can they hold back the impending storm as America braces for the largest physician shortage in over a century?

PRIMARY CONCERN details the precarious health care precipice in America in all its complexities and profound human drama.


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