Primary Care Moves Patients With Addiction to Self-Advocacy

Samuel Werner, DO, a family medicine physician in West Hartford, Connecticut, vividly remembers one patient who was struggling with a drug addiction. The man was having trouble holding down a steady job because of his dependence, but with Werner’s guidance, he started on buprenorphine. Werner also connected him with a social worker to address housing … Read more

Mental Illness Tied to More Healthcare Use Among Homeless

Among adults experiencing homelessness in Ontario, Canada, those with a mental illness are more likely to use emergency, inpatient, and physician services, according to a new report. In general, homelessness is associated with higher healthcare needs, hospitalizations, and primary care appointments, compared with low-income control groups, the study authors wrote. At the same time, healthcare … Read more

Canadian Doctors Call for Mental Health Funding

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Primary Care Collaborative have called for $37.5 million in immediate funding, as well as $75 million annually for 10 years, to help primary care providers treat patients with depression, anxiety, and addiction. The recommendation is part of a four-point plan to strengthen mental health and addiction services in primary … Read more

Doctors Less Open to New Patients With Opioid Use Disorder

Family physicians are almost three times less likely to offer a new patient appointment to a patient with opioid use disorder (OUD), compared with a patient with diabetes, new data from Ontario, Canada suggest. In a randomized clinical trial that included almost 400 family physicians, those with more than 20 years’ experience were almost 13 … Read more

Postpartum Depression Risk Higher With Family Psych History

Mothers who have a family history of any psychiatric disorder have almost two times the risk of postpartum depression as do mothers without such history, according to a new study. Mette-Marie Zacher Kjeldsen, MSc, with the National Center for Register-based Research at Aarhus (Denmark) University, led the study, a meta-analysis that included 26 studies with … Read more

Medical Societies Advocate for Behavioral Health Integration

A coalition of eight leading medical associations is calling for the integration of behavioral health into primary care practice, plus the expansion of mental health and substance abuse disorder services to fill the unmet needs for these kinds of treatments. Behavioral health integration (BHI) could save as much as $68 billion per year in healthcare … Read more

Hypervigilance and Helplessness in Facing Death of a Patient

It’s an early Friday morning during the pandemic. I arrive at my clinic to find my 8 o’clock slot booked with a same-day patient. As a clinical psychologist embedded within a primary care team, I meet with patients at varying frequency. I had just met with this patient on Monday — twice in one week … Read more

Unique Primary Care Model Effective for Comorbid Depression, PTSD

A unique primary care program successfully manages patients with depression and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, if widely implemented may result in more rapid treatment and help alleviate wait times for specialty psychiatric care. Zachary Zuschlag, MD “We know there are strains on the mental healthcare system, and sometimes something as simple as getting … Read more

Specialties Differ on Value, Utilization of Telehealth: Study

Attitudes toward the use of telehealth differ markedly among mental health, primary care, and specialty care clinicians, according to a study published June 7 in JAMA Network Open. The study involved eight clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Healthcare System. Mental health professionals used telehealth — including phone and video visits … Read more

U of Washington, Harvard Ranked Top Medical Schools ― Again

It may seem like déjà vu as not much has changed regarding the rankings of top US medical schools over the past 2 years. The University of Washington in Seattle retained its ranking from the US News & World Report as the top medical school for primary care for 2023. Also repeating its 2022 standing … Read more