Practice Architecture Means Building a Sustainable and Happy Physician Work Environment

If you’re a VPMA, CMO or other Physician Executive tasked with the development and coordination of a Medical Staff, I’d like to speak with you.

As you well know, a variety of factors are creating great change and stress within the physician practice community.  A physician satisfaction survey conducted by The Physicians Foundation found that six in 10 physicians would quit medical practice today if they felt a viable alternative career path was present. The survey noted the high rates of dissatisfaction were present regardless of the physician’s age, gender, specialty, location or employment status. Let’s add to this situation significant shortages in the graduation levels of new physicians over the next five years and the added stress of compliance with various ACA initiatives, and the die is cast for a rather drastic outlook for physician practice and U.S. healthcare delivery for decades to come. 

As we all know, healthcare is a “big ship” that once it is turned in any direction, it does not right its course quickly or easily.  

So, if your job is to build and keep a medical staff that is both effective and happy, you know the challenges:

  1. Recruitment. The candidate pool is shrinking. But beyond that, physicians want more control over their environment. And, if they don’t receive that control they will either move on or result in poor performers, or worse: disruptive physicians. As such, there has never been a higher premium on making the right choices. 
  2. Retention. Physician mobility has never been higher. Retention isn’t just location and salary, but quality of life and work/life balance. What do your physicians want – do you know? Do you know how to give them what they want and need? Are you empowered to do so, even if you know?
  3. Production. Physicians are tired of being commoditized and treated like plug and play widgets. With Pay-for-Quality overshadowing Pay-for-Production, how do you shift the focus from the assembly line to one of craftsmanship… all within this age of best-practices and standardization.

I call this Practice Architecture™. It’s how you build a medial practice around unique and individual physician needs and desires that yields not only individually but collectively happy, effective and productive physicians. It’s how you create a sustainable and positive work environment.  

You may see even more challenges, but these represent the mass of the iceberg that is bearing down on you. 

I’m interested to learn more about your perspective on these and other challenges. From where I sit, as a hospital executive with 20-years of responsibility for medical staff development, an entrepreneur who has recruited more than 1,300 physicians for an international medical project and as a business person who has counseled and coached physicians on career enhancement for a dozen years, I see the primary challenge as one of becoming responsive to changing physician needs and expectations while achieving organizational objectives within a challenging regulatory and payor environment. 

My Questions:

  • Would you be interested in sharing your ideas as well as your concerns and questions in a VPMA/CMO/Physician Exec Town Hall meeting. 
  • Would you be interested in participating in a Topic-Driven Educational WebEx meeting with peers?
  • Would you be interested in attending a weekend seminar focused on this expanded concept of recruitment and retention?
  • Is there another effective avenue or resource you would like, but have not been able to find?

I’m interested in your thoughts and your comments,  and I’m interested in helping you with your challenging tasks. Please share your comments and ask your questions.