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Primary Care with a Nod to the Past

A Return to Old-style Doctoring

In Monday's newspaper is the latest in an occasional series on health care in a typical community hospital by Inquirer writer Michael Vitez. He has been embedded with Abington Memorial Hospital since last fall.

His story, with my photos, is about Dr. Joe Mambu and how he is reinventing the role of the family doctor.

As Mike writes,  Mambu worked 25 years as a family physician in an HMO practice and struggled with being an employee with little control. He wanted to restore the best of the old-fashioned family doctor - he wanted to make house calls - and still somehow make it work in the current health care environment. Now he's at the vanguard of a movement sweeping America - the patient-centered medical home. The new health bill promotes this model, and many experts call it the future of primary care.

Dr. Mambu says he has rediscovered what he loved about medicine in the first place, what he calls "that metaphysical magic that happens when two human beings come together, one with a problem and the other with a desire and knowledge to help."