Uproar at Harvard Med! A faculty and student protest has greeted Harvard Medical School’s announcement that they are responding to the economic crunch by closing their primary care program.A petition was signed by more than 500 students and faculty. All this amid the growing evidence of critical shortages in our nation’s primary care physicians. A 2007 survey showed that 98% of internal medicine residents are choosing specialty fields.The Harvard program was only receiving $200,000 a year, which according to the protest organizer, is “itself indicative of a problem.” The Harvard dean suggested that she supported spirit of the petition, but that “difficult economic times have forced some difficult decisions.”Not good enough. Responding to a problem by perpetuating it when times get tough is not the solution. If it was, culture change would never come to nursing homes; in fact, most aspects of life would never improve if we only did the right thing when it was easy.The dean’s contention that increased scholarship aid and loan forgiveness will inspire people to consider the lower paying primary care fields is also very weak. It’s the essence of “trickle-down” theory. If you honor the practice of primary care, you need to show that, visibly and financially.