Physician Organizations and Networks

doctor organization

Physician organization is the body governing a medical profession and its members. It is accountable to and serves its physician membership and the public through a governance structure that enables physicians to vote on strategic directions and ventures of the organization as a whole. It is also a non-profit.

The AMA is the USA’s largest and sole national medical association that monitors over 190 specialty societies as well as state medical associations and provides physician leadership in addressing the most important issues that confront medicine including the advancement of the science and art of medicine, protection of patients, the improvement of public health and the development of the medical profession. The AMA acts as an advocate in legislative, legal, regulatory and economic matters for its members and the American public.

Founded on 17 September 1947, the World Medical Association (WMA) is an independent international confederation of free professional associations of physicians and medical organizations which promotes the highest standards of ethical behaviour and care by physicians at all times and in all places, and advocates for the rights and interests of patients. Its Declarations, Resolutions and Statements provide ethical guidance to physicians, governments, and other international bodies.

It also organizes international meetings to exchange views on health matters, and is involved in policy making at the local, regional, and world levels. Its activities include the drafting of an International Code of Ethics for Physicians, the provision of technical assistance to countries developing their medical professions and health systems, and the development of international cooperation on matters of mutual interest such as medical education, medical research with human subjects, armed conflict, and pollution.

In those countries where the responsibility for licensing doctors is delegated to the local level by regional, provincial or departmental corporate bodies, the WMA recommends that these corporations be centralized in order to ensure the continuous updating of national information about doctors registered and that there be effective mechanisms for disqualifying doctors who have been found guilty of malpractice through professional committees or in court.

A physician network, also known as an independent practice association (IPA) or medical home, is a group of independent physicians working together to reduce overhead and pursue joint business ventures. Examples of these endeavors include contracts with employers, accountable care organizations (ACO), or managed care organizations (MCO). They also offer substantial opportunities for accelerating important and necessary changes in delivery system modeling and benefit design. These new models could dramatically transform the way health care is delivered and paid for. However, there are challenges to implementing these models that may hinder the progress toward innovative approaches to health care delivery and payment. Those challenges include a lack of physician leadership and a culture of distrust between the private sector and the medical profession. It is also unclear how these networks will be affected by the introduction of a single payer system, which may create additional barriers to creating innovative models. These obstacles need to be overcome for physician networks to succeed.