Please make primary care as sexy as Grey’s Anatomy

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STAT_LogoDear Shonda Rhimes, the brilliant mind behind my favorite television show,

We need to talk about “Grey’s Anatomy.”

I’m a fan. A really, really big fan. The kind of fan who — in the last 48 hours — rewatched all of last season’s episodes to prepare for the season premiere, and who has blocked off every Thursday night this fall to get lost in the drama at Grey Sloan Memorial.

We all have our vices, and “Grey’s” is mine.

But something occurred to me as I was bingeing on last season. From the lifesaving surgeries to the metastasized cancers, half of the plot lines and patients on “Grey’s Anatomy” should never have gotten to the emergency department. The cough that turned into fatal pneumonia? It should have been caught by the patient’s primary care physician. The mild urinary tract infection that became an aggressive kidney infection? A call to the woman’s nurse practitioner and a gallon of cranberry juice later, and she would have been fine. Or those two drinks a night that evolved into a devastating addiction? A primary care clinician would have seen the signs well before the family was forced to make a tough decision about treatment options.

Shonda, where are the primary care teams?

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