How Physicians Change Clinical Focus During the Course of Their Career

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Toward developing a better understanding of how physicians change clinical focus during the course of their career
April 25, 2014: American Board of Medical Specialties National Health Policy Forum

The context: Rapid health system change underway.
Much debate has centered on:

  • numbers of physicians needed, not content of practice
  • redesigning curriculum for students in pipeline not retooling the existing workforce

A whirlwind tour of our physician workforce model: Our team has developed web‐based, interactive physician projection model

  • Uses “plasticity” methodology to map supply (physician services provided to patients) to demand (types of health care services patients utilize)
  • Plasticity acknowledges physicians flexibly adjust scope of services they provide according to training, practice context and personal preferences

Case studies of plasticity in surgery and family medicine: evidence of narrowing scope of services and a shift of services away from generalists to specialists

A case of data envy: increased collection/analysis of MOC
data would:

  • inform your work at ABMS by connecting practice delivery changes to education and certification
  • improve our understanding of adequacy of workforce to meet population health needs and where there may be emerging access issues


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