Rebekah Bernard MD and Niran Al-Agba MD|

Today, we discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart as a family physician: the role of primary care. We’re going to focus especially on the misconception often held by legislators that primary care is somehow ‘easy,’ and can therefore be relegated to allied health professionals, especially nurse practitioners.

Today, I am joined by two special guests who are experts in the role of primary care in the healthcare system. Dr. Emily O’Rourke is a Family Physician in Virginia and the owner of Fountain Direct Primary Care.  (

We are also joined by Dr. Meghan Galer, a board-certified emergency physician who opened her own direct primary care practice, ColGACare, in Georgia. (

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BMJ 2018 – Continuity of care with doctors—a matter of life and death? A systematic review of continuity of care and mortality

BMJ 2019 – US patients live longer in areas with more primary care doctors, study finds BMJ 2019364 doi: (Published 20 February 2019) BMJ 2019;364:l804

Mortality rates are lower with higher continuity of care, review finds BMJ 2020;370:m3184


Gray BM, Vandergrift JL, McCoy RG, et al Association between primary care physician diagnostic knowledge and death, hospitalisation and emergency department visits following an outpatient visit at risk for diagnostic error: a retrospective cohort study using medicare claims BMJ Open 2021;11:e041817. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041817