HSC Commentary: What are the advantages and disadvantages of community-based medicine?

Compiled by Monika Guttman

Chris Winckler, Senior, nursing

I think with community-based medicine you build up a closer relationship with the patients. If they're just coming into a large hospital, they never get to see the same physician again, whereas at a clinic in the neighborhood you get a probably get a better insight as to what's really going on with the patients.

That helps with prevention, too. I like the idea of being accessible. People would get to know their helath care provider and trust them more, like the police department moving to community policing.

Ivy Pohlman, Senior, nursing

The main advantage of community- based medicine, as defined and driven by managed care, is just to save money. We're certainly being trained that way here -from day one much of our training has centered around home nursing, community nursing. Another thing about moving into the community is that you get more of a chance to do preventive treatment. That will control costs, because if you see them before they get sick, you can treat them better. One of the disadvantages is patients won't necessarily have ready access to acute emergency-type care.

Eric Li, First-year, medicine

Community-based medicine is ideally suited for people who went into the health professions for noble purposes. In community medicine, you can have a significant impact on individuals and entire communities in dire need of care.

Keely Brown, Senior, nursing

The disadvantage is there's a gap betweeen the sub-acute patient and the patient who's very ill and needs 24-hour care but is not being treated for an acute condition. Also, you can bring advanced technology into the home, but only to a point. Then you can have complications like infections or somebody inserting the pump wrong with IV therapy. It puts more stress on the family. An advantage, for nurses or other care-providers, is more autonomy in the home. They can care better for patients because they're not stressed by caring for as many people at once.

Hunglinh Nguyen, Second-year, pharmacy

The main advantage is just to save a lot of people money. Not just the individual, but the community overall. If you keep people out of the hospital, you save money. The government will save money. The insurance company will save money. It probably is better for a person to care for themselves in the community and save the hospital just for really sick people.