Corporate Healthcare in Deeper Trouble than Previously Thought—A report from the Field

This is a live report from the SEAK Non-Clinical Careers Conference where I’ve been invited to serve on the faculty.

 

Boy, are health systems in trouble.

 

Attendance for this one little conference is enormous.

 

The numbers of those with the motivation to give up their weekend, travel and spend more than $1000 to explore ways to get out of medicine is higher than it’s ever been.

 

Usually attendees are specialists, this year the number of PCPs is much higher than in the past.

 

And when asked why they are here, why they are interested in giving up medicine altogether and use their degree in some other way, 100% give the same answer.

 

Overwork.

 

Seeing to many patients and answering to too many demands.

 

But here’s the scary thing.

 

I’ve never seen such a young crowd.

 

Never.

 

If all these physicians transition out of clinical medicine, the clinical person-years lost will be enormous.

 

All because their organizations won’t let them use their gifts in a sustainable way.

 

That’s a sin.

 

Especially since payment systems like Medicare Advantage would incentivize these physicians to unleash their gifts in manner in which everyone succeeds.  But most systems won’t be able take advantage of the opportunity because they don’t want to share risk payments with their clinicians.

 

“We can’t trust our docs.”

 

“They’re lazy.”

 

“They’re greedy.”

 

In years past when I look around at all the clinical horsepower at these conferences, I see an unlocking of enthusiasm as older docs look to second careers.

 

This year, given the youth and the predominance of PCPs, all I see is wasted potential.

 

For them, for their patients.

 

And for you—the organizations that used to employ them.