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Each generation of doctors and medical professionals 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 today.

And, as linguistic evolution occurs, the nomenclature of hospitalist was followed by that of intensivist, proceduralist and nocturnalist, etc [ and Personal communication Richard L. Reece MD].

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 new era 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; it is about lifestyle choice.

What else drives these new-wave specialists?

The answer, of course, is the next-generation of physicians and their emerging new medical business and practice models, which include:

  • “Ambulists” are doctors that travel locally, have no, or only a sparse physical office presence of their own. They sporadically provide services that are additive to traditional practice models [i.e., endocrinologist in a large family medical office with many diabetics]. 
  • “In-Situ” physicians regularly provide services that are complimentary to existing traditional practice models [i.e., dentists or podiatrists in a medical practice].
  • “Laborists” are obstetricians that do not wish to be on-call. First begun in Cape Cod and other Massachusetts hospitals, such obstetricians work regular shifts for the sole purpose of delivering babies.
  • “Locum Tenens” doctors travel around the country as itinerants [i.e., cruise ships] as temporary substitutes for another the same specialty.
  • “Officists” remain in their own physical practice, and rarely see patients in the hospital, nursing home, patient home, out-patient facility, etc.
  • Finally, “dayhawk physicians” mimic the “nighthawk physician” model where radiologists in remote locations read films in the middle of the night as cash-strapped hospitals often find it cheaper to outsource with better services and more timely interpretations in many cases.

Your thoughts are appreciated.



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