Each year, the Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network (ACORN), a practice-based research network housed in the Department and led by Alex Krist, H’99 (Fairfax) and Jackie Britz, M’17, identifies every primary care clinician and practice in the Commonwealth. Funded by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and done in collaboration with the Virginia Task Force on Primary Care, the goal is to assess the “state, scope, capacity, and health of primary care in Virginia.” Every four years, a survey is conducted on a practice level, in order to determine how each of these practices are serving their communities; the most recent survey was conducted in 2021-2022.
The most recent analysis of the primary care workforce in Virginia shows some sobering statistics about areas of care shortages. Not only is the Virginia workforce inadequate compared to the need, but 30% more PCPs would be needed for each Virginia to have a primary care provider. But the team also found some encouraging news about the impact of our VCU residencies and the care the programs and their graduates continue to provide throughout the state; there are successes across all our affiliated residency programs (including previously existing programs over the years). For the 1677 residents for whom we have current data, it is notable on the heat map that our residents practice in every census tract in the state. We have produced over 1700 family physicians since graduating our first resident in 1971, and 68% that graduated since 1995 are still actively practicing in the state. These physicians currently make up 14% of the primary care workforce in the state and take care of over 1.3 million patients (15.2% of Virginians).
To read more about the Virginia Primary Care Survey, including its reports and publications, please visit: https://www.acornvirginia.org/primary-care