Primary Care Challenge (#PCC14): Open Call to Innovators!

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What are you doing to transform American health care delivery on the front lines? On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. This is commonly called “Obamacare”, and together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Physician Workforce Policy Recommendations 2012, the law is expected to expand health insurance coverage by 32 million people by 2016 and 34 million people by 2021. The success of the expansion of health insurance largely depends on the availability of primary care physicians, and thus, stakeholders have turned their attention to revamping primary care to attract and retain the workforce needed to sustain American healthcare. Because of this, clinicians around the country are implementing new innovations every day. But what are clinicians doing? What is working? What isn’t working? We want to know!

Medstro and MedTech Boston are excited to announce our partnership with The American College of Physicians, The American Resident Project, The Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, in-Training, Costs of Care, the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians, the Rhode Island Academy of Family Physician, and many more to bring you our Primary Care Innovation Challenge! This is an open call to any physician or medical student implementing some sort of innovation on the front lines of American healthcare. All specialties are encouraged to apply. In this Age of Connectivity, we should be able to communication and collaborate faster than ever to implement the most effective innovation possible.

Fellow with The American Resident Project and resident physician in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD, tells us, “Residents and Medical Students spend most of their time training in highly specialized, hospital based settings. They seldom see the strength of primary care, namely the longitudinal, holistic care of a population of patients. As healthcare systems increasingly value these strengths, primary care will become a hotbed of opportunity, ripe for the emergence of clinician innovators who will design solutions to some of our greatest healthcare challenges.”

Bich-May Nguyen

Celebrity Judge for the Challenge and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Bich-May Nguyen, MD, says, “I’m excited about the enthusiasm for primary care. Family physicians have been at the top of recruiters’ lists for the past few years because health care systems are realizing how valuable our skills are. Collaboration and innovation are so important in primary care because we are not producing enough primary care doctors to care for our populations’ needs. Working in teams, encouraging health professionals to practice at the top of their licenses, and easing administrative burdens to allow physicians to focus on patient care could help improve the quality of care and reduce provider burnout.”

Medical student at The George Washington University Samantha Margulies encourages medical students to become our inspired leaders. She says, “Collaboration is important in many work fields, including medicine. Collaboration in the field of medicine, in particular, can prevent mistakes, save lives, save time and reduce the amount of duplicated work done. The current medical students will soon become the nation’s leading physicians.”

For the Primary Care Challenge, half of the voting will be crowd-sourced (yes, social media has done a lot to democratize the healthcare discussion, and we believe in the power of every voice), and half of the voting will be by Celebrity Judges. The top 5 contestants will win an all expenses paid trip to Boston (home of independence and the largest concentration of academic hospitals in the nation) to pitch your ideas to an elite group of physicians and medial students on the Harvard campus. The live event will be on September 16, 2014, and is “Medicine on the Front Lines: Empowering the Next Generation of Primary Care Providers. The top prize winner will have a professional film crew create a video of your on-the-ground innovation for you and your hospital to use in your publicity or CV. This film will also be shown to the American public in multiple venues.


There will be numerous other prizes, including free admission to The American College of Physician annual conference and to the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians annual conference.

Sign up here to follow the competition! Any questions can be directed towards Jennifer Joe, MD, Editor-in-Chief of MedTech Boston at

Jennifer M. Joe, MD

Jennifer M. Joe, MD

    My passion is healthcare optimization, whether that is with innovation, making scientific discoveries, or improving delivery. I love bringing people and ideas together and making projects work. With this, medicine exists to improve lives, and I will strive to always help patients and those around me.

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