A Physician by Any Other Name

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Enter the Weekendalists and Laborists

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA]


dr-david-marcinko5More than a decade ago, in another career, I wrote a few articles for Richard L. Reece MD when he edited a print and emerging electronic trade publication for medical professionals. All very “fly”, at the time.

The Laborists

Now – according to Dr. Reece who cites the Boston Globe, in “The Birth of a Notion”, a Cape Cod and some other Massachusetts hospitals are hiring “laborists”; aka board-certified obstetricians to work regular shifts for the sole purpose of delivering babies.


New Causitive Drivers

What drives these new-wave specialists? The answer, of course, is the next-generation of physicians and their emerging new medical business and practice models. Much like my 12 year old daughter, it is a way of professionally breaking away from past generations, and asserting some independence and leadership. And, as Martha Stewart might say; “that’s a good thing.”

Many Reasonsbiz-book2

But, according to Reece, the real drivers are a combination of other things – the desire of doctors for regular hours, the shortage of specialists, physician burnout, the search for a safer hospital environment, the need for consistent, immediately available physician services, fear of dreaded malpractice suits, and consolidation of hospital-physicians services due to regulatory and economic pressures; etc.

Blended Generations

Dick is correct, of course, because it is not uncommon today to have three generations represented in healthcare. We have the Baby-boomers, Gen X and now, Gen Y. The Baby Boomer generation is saying with some sense of sadness that, “Medicine sure isn’t want it used to be!”, while Generation Xers are saying “It’s about time things changed!”, and the latest generation to enter the medical workforce, Gen Y’s, are saying “Ready or not, we’re here”.


The Leadership Evolution

Each generation is extraordinarily complex, bringing various skills, expertise and expectations to the modern medical work environment. Determining the best method to unite such diverse thinking is one of the many challenges faced by physician executives and healthcare leaders. Is it any wonder that many medical leaders and executive in the Baby Boomer generation find themselves at a loss? The days of functional leadership are gone and suddenly, no one cares about the expertise of the Baby Boomers or how they climbed the corporate ladder, in medicine or elsewhere. Leadership in the era of Health 2.0 is no longer about command-control or dictating with intense focus on the bottom line; it is about collaboration, empowerment and communication. And, it is not about titles and nomenclature.

cmpLinguistic Evolution

As the linguistic evolution of terms progresses, the nomenclature of hospitalist was followed by that of intensivist, proceduralist, nocturalists, in-situ physician and even weekendalists. Think I’m kidding?

Link: http://medinnovationblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/hospital-based-doctorists.html


I still like the causative analogy of my pre-teen daughter; it’s much simpler to understand. What do you think?  


1. Wachter, R and Goldman, R: “The Emerging Role of ‘Hospitalists’ in the American Health System’. In, New England Journal of Medicine; 335, 514-517, 1996

2. Kowalczyk, L: The Birth of a Notion: Hospitals Turning to Laborarists. Boston Globe, February 23, 2009


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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com




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2 Responses

  1. Allow us to add two more terms to the mix.

    1. An “officist” practices almost exclusively out of his or her medical office. Think: dentist, podiatrist, optometrist or even osteopath.

    2. An “ambulist” is just the opposite. He or she practices outside the traditional office setting; as a locum-tenens doctor or in-situ physician; ASC practitioner or outpatient care physician; nursing home provider or by making house calls, etc … anyplace but the office!

    Any thoughts or impressions from you “officist’s” or “ambulist’s” out there; other than the tortuous tongue twisting nature of these new terms?

    Ann Miller; RN, MHA


  2. Doctors Say Red Tape is Leading to Burnout

    More and more, doctors are grumbling that federal mandates are clogging up their days with busywork, turning them into data-entry clerks and taking time away from patient care. Even more upsetting, they say, is that after spending hours entering data, software crashes or refuses to upload to national databases. Computer systems among hospitals and laboratories often can’t talk to each other.

    “So when we are trying to get records from other institutions, other hospitals, private offices, it is very difficult,” said Dr. Javette Orgain, a family practice physician in Chicago and chairperson of the Illinois State Board of Health.

    Now, as the federal government is preparing to ramp up the requirements, medical groups around the country are protesting. Last month, more than 100 medical societies, led by the Chicago-based AMA, called on Congress to delay new requirements.

    Source: John Russell, Chicago Tribune via Dr. Joseph Borreggine


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