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Canarsie, the Doctor Shortage and the Role of EHR

by Andrew Scutro, Senior Associate, Communications

Last Friday, we had the opportunity to travel to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn for a visit with Dr. Bernadette Sheridan and her staff at Grace Family Practice.

It was an eye opener.

Dr. Sheridan is truly a dynamo, whizzing in and out of exam rooms while being focused and present with each patient. Her energy is in demand because she’s one of the few doctors in an area with a steady need for medical attention. Her practice is open six days a week and it’s busy every minute of those office hours. So, we talked to her about how an EHR has helped her streamline practice workflow and better track individual care.

We’re planning on more from Dr. Sheridan here in the blog and elsewhere on But in the meantime, a New York University journalism graduate student produced this excellent video on Dr. Sheridan and the current shortage of primary care physicians.

Whether it’s in Canarsie or Boise, the doctor shortage is an issue that deserves and demands attention. Our CEO, Jonathan Bush, has written about it here in the athenahealth blog. Likewise, in this recent article, athenahealth Vice President of Product Strategy, Ryan Wise, talks about the need in this environment to take “non-care work” away from doctors so they can be there for patients. Until a more reasonable ratio of primary care physicians to patients can be restored, it will be up to doctors like Bernadette Sheridan to fill the gap, but do so in a way that patients say, as one did in the NYU video, “I don’t mind waiting… I want to be examined properly.”

What’s the care situation in your area? Are there enough primary care physicians, or do the few find themselves zipping around like Dr. Sheridan?

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