Solo practice to team medicine

 The days of  Marcus Welby, Ben Casey or Dr Kildaire (TV physicians in the 1960s) are long gone.   Making house calls with his little black medical bag, the family physician was literally a part of the family.   He (and most often, it was a “he”) was a prominent, respected member of the community whose opinion was rarely challenged. It was the rare woman who practiced medicine at that time.  A doctor’s visit took as long as necessary and the physician spent as much time as needed to gain a full picture of the patient and their symptoms.  Reimbursement was not an issue.

Today health care looks very different and questions abound as to what it will look like ten years from now.   How will health care reform effect the practice and delivery of medicine?   Medicine has already changed considerably.  Since 1975 the percentage of women physicians has tripled from 9% to over 25%.  Half the students in US Medical schools now are women.  Both men and women are going into medicine with the intention of combining career and family, creating greater work-life balance and are less willing to sacrifice all for career.   The solo practitioner on call 24/7 is becoming a thing of the past.  A growing percentage of physicians are exploring the concept of team medicine.   The team medicine concept allows a physician to work as part of a health care delivery team sharing responsibility for seeing patients and covering call.  Under this structure, physicians have a greater opportunity to have full active careers while actively participating in family life or other pursuits.

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