“Direct primary care is a social movement. And it faces the same challenges.”

December 30, 2015

 

The emergence of direct primary care (DPC) has the characteristics of a social movement, defined as a “purposive and collective attempt of a number of people to change individuals or societal institutions and structures.”

Moreover, the DPC movement has thus far succeeded largely because it is based on a guiding set of strongly-held principles from which its founders have not wavered.  The concept of direct primary care as a reordering of the incentives and priorities of doctors and patients away from those of third-party payers has attracted a large following among physicians and members of the public who laud it as a positive example of disruptive innovation.  The genius of the concept lies in its common-sense simplicity, which stands in stark contrast with the confusing complexity of the larger health care system.

As direct primary care gains in popularity, it runs the risk of succumbing to the same pressures that have affected other growing social movements. Namely, the movement risks relinquishing its founding principles in an attempt to accommodate previously held norms within society.

While the siren call of more widespread acceptance and recognition of the movement within the mainstream is attractive, I believe it may represent the first challenge to the integrity of the social movement as we have known it.

STAYING POWER: “What does it really take to turn something you’ve made into a company with staying power and apply that natural drive to scaling it? A business’s ability to build community is, in fact, a type of entrepreneurial spirit at work; it’s just that many entrepreneurs don’t see this.  Although some are quick dismiss the community-building model of doing business as antiquated … Social media marketing alone or viral campaigns always fizzle and are forgotten. There are four key elements to turning a short-lived social media moment into a bit [not long though] longer lasting movement: “research, thinking out of the box, visuals, measurement and evaluation …” ~Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Natasha Benjamin, co-founder and director of public relations of Epitome of Soul, an entertainment nonprofit.

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