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Sam's story: The financial and human costs of disjointed logics of care

J. Karlin
Ann Fam Med

I am an anthropologist and family doctor who has the good fortune of working in northern California with colleagues who prioritize the social needs of our patients alongside medical ones. In the essay that follows, I share details from my patient Sam’s (pseudonym) last 2 years of life to underscore how attending to social precarity cannot be fully achieved within our safety net institutions as they are currently structured. While we have strong evidence that addressing social needs as part of clinical care offers good return on investment, Sam’s story makes visible the problems we face when attempting to address social determinants of health. After introducing a concept from the social sciences about rationales that underlie health care delivery, I call on primary care doctors to redefine the medical paradigm to remedy the disjointed logics of care that result in unnecessarily high financial and human costs.

Karlin J. Sam's Story: The financial and human costs of disjointed logics of care. Ann Fam Med. 2022 Jan-Feb;20(1):84-87. doi: 10.1370/afm.2763. PMID: 35074773.

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