Why is it Not Good Enough to Be a Good Doctor?
Written by Dr. Brian Hill
I received a mailer offering me an opportunity to pursue a Masters of Health Care Delivery Science from one of the nation’s leading educational institutions. One sentence struck me as a damning declaration about their vision to redesign the current healthcare system: “In this environment, having first-rate clinical skills alone is not enough.” As a physician, I had come to believe that becoming a great clinician was the ultimate calling in medicine.
Evaluating Their Statement
When evaluating their statement, the following question begs to be asked:
A physician providing care utilizing first-rate clinical skills is not enough for whom? For our patients? I cannot imagine a patient would agree with their sentiment. When patients are hurting, sick and fearful, they are certainly happy to receive care from physicians with first-rate clinical skills. This proposed healthcare system redesign is not about our patients.
What is a Doctor Supposed to Be Doing?
So, if the development of great clinical skills and the provision of great care to our patients is not enough, then what else is a doctor supposed to be doing? The letter goes on to explain the need for physicians to develop the necessary business skills and knowledge to successfully navigate emerging care models such as “population health management” and new payment models such as “value-based purchasing” among a litany of other programs.
When I read or hear such proclamations, my heart breaks about the direction of healthcare. Why? The practice of medicine is difficult — these bodies we reside in, and the inevitable medical issues that arise within them are often not easy to diagnose and treat. It is not easy to be a great clinician.
Our Duty as Doctors
The development of first-rate clinical skills is our duty as doctors. Developing these skills takes time, effort, thought, endurance and much persistence. It requires pursuing continuing education and training to continually hone and sharpen skills to keep up with the rapidly advancing clinical environment. Anything that detracts from doing so detracts from having first-rate clinical skills and thereby detracts from our patients’ care.
And yet now physicians are being told that developing great clinical skills to provide great care to our patients is insufficient. They are told that meeting the needs of those outside of the exam room — those architects of healthcare system change — as opposed to the needs of our patients, has become an additional requirement.
Providing Remarkable Medical Care to Patients
We believe that providing remarkable care to one patient at a time in a more effective delivery model is best. We simplify the office and quiet the noise that is the “industry of healthcare.” We remove the voices that distract from that which we as physicians have been called to do: provide great, personalized care in a partnership with our patients. We wholeheartedly believe that having first-rate clinical skills is indeed enough.
If you are looking for healthcare from primary care physicians and specialists who have put this belief into practice, you are invited to learn more about HIPnation and become a member of “the nation.” Read more on our website and contact Membership Services with your questions. Signing up is just a brief online form because all pre-existing conditions are accepted.