Our health care system has never been more complicated than it is today. Many factors have created this complexity:
• Ongoing scientific research
• Corresponding innovations of new technologies, devices, and pharmaceuticals
• Convoluted changes in an already intricate legal and regulatory environment.
As a result, clinical treatment protocols have been changing at a dizzyingly accelerated pace.
These shifting dynamics have exacerbated the incessant challenges of medical group practice. Keeping up with new rules, regulations, and technologies has demanded increasing time commitments, creating new pressures over subjects like work distribution and on-call coverage. Moreover, decision-making about fundamental business choices have become increasing complex, such as whether to add or eliminate partners, terms of partnership buy-ins, profit sharing, whether to sell the practice to a hospital system, or whether to merge with a larger medical group. Finally, the vast technology divide between physicians of different generations is now widening exponentially.
Significant new economic and psychosocial stresses have been created by these changing dynamics. Feuding can easily ensue as medical group partners spend more time on a variety of practice management issues, having correspondingly less time available to provide patient care, to participate in family activities, or to enjoy the minimum of personal time we all need to "recharge our batteries."
These contentious elements of medical group practice are compounded by the many ways in which our brains work imperfectly to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Understanding Medical Group Practice Problems through Science
In his best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize Winn...
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... The unfortunate result of too many well-meaning and hardworking physicians who continue to ignore important advances in psychology, particularly the developing field of positive psychology, is that they continue to struggle and their groups too often fail. It is time for the medical profession to develop new strategies and techniques which are not only "efficient," but also based on a more nuanced appreciation of how the human mind works – and doesn’t work. Physicians who vigilantly monitor the demands foisted on their personal lives while developing new practice management strategies are more likely to not simply "get by", but to flourish economically while enjoying the practice of medicine. The results will be higher morale, higher productivity, genuine teamwork, ease in attracting great talent, lower turnover, and enhanced individual and organizational success.
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