How physicians can sidestep administration

Robert Szabo, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, Calif., spoke with Becker's ASC Review on how private practice allows physicians to bypass administration. 

Editor's note: This interview was edited lightly for brevity and clarity. 

Question: What's driving the next generation of physicians to private practice?

Dr. Robert Szabo: Private practice offers physicians more autonomy, particularly less oversight by administrators who are too distant from the practice of medicine to care about the physician-patient relationship. Medicine is becoming increasingly sensitive to value, and there is no question that when redesign of practices comes about to reduce cost, the least value-added portion of healthcare is administration. Private practice cuts out the multiple levels of administration that exist in big healthcare systems. Already residents have become unionized in these systems to protect them from administrators. Attendings are next!

Q: Where does physician education fall short?

RS: Currently physician education is primarily one of progressive specialization. In orthopedics, for example, to become a hand surgeon, one first completes four years of medical school followed by five years of orthopedic residency, followed by a one-year hand fellowship. If education changed to a paradigm of early specialization, students would be introduced to the problems in their specialty that needed to be solved earlier, and look to partner with industry to improve products and services in an area within their expertise. An added value is the cost of education, which is subsidized by our government, would also decrease.

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