There are several attributes of physician organizations that can help improve quality of care and patient safety. First and foremost, physician organizations should have strong physician leadership. Some of the largest multispecialty medical groups are founded by charismatic physician leaders who had a strong vision for the practice. A shared vision and values are also important for ensuring that quality improvement efforts are consistent. A physician organization can also promote the development of research and education programs. The following are some of the characteristics of good doctor organizations.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has long been an institution of the medical field. Its journal, the Journal of American Medical Association, is published by AMA. The organization was founded in 1869 and has a rich history. The AMA was active in national politics and successfully blocked passage of national health insurance in the late 19th century. However, the AMA’s membership has steadily declined, with only a third of doctors belonging to the organization in 2000. The AMA has struggled to maintain a steady membership, and recently revealed a new plan whereby members will pay a once-time fee to become members for life.
In addition to its advocacy of public health and marriage equality legislation, the AMA has also been active in the political arena. For instance, the association recently endorsed Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services. In contrast, three young physicians wrote an open letter condemning the decision, which over 6000 doctors signed. These reasons highlight the need for doctor organizations to have a more active role in politics. This is a good sign for young physicians who want to become a part of a doctor organization.
The quality of care provided by a physician group can be attributed to the cohesion of members, the size of the practice, and its affiliation with other parts of the health care delivery system. While physician groups can be effective in improving quality of care, they can also detract from patient-centeredness and human scale. In addition, doctors are rewarded for the quality of care they provide rather than by being affiliated with another area of the health care delivery system.
The cost of health care has risen to unprecedented levels, and managed care is here to stay. Although fee-for-service reimbursement has produced little evidence of quality improvement, payors are unwilling to continue paying steep premiums. Physician behavior is also an issue, such as the length of stay a woman is kept in her office after childbirth. A physician may not be able to give the patient the advice he needs without making a financial commitment to the managed care organization.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the U.S. It represents more than 148,000 doctors practicing internal medicine, related subspecialties, and medical students. These doctors use scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to diagnose and treat patients. A doctor in this field should be able to use this expertise to educate patients and their families. There are many other doctor organizations that doctors can join to improve their careers and serve the public. When considering which doctor organization to join, make sure to look for the one that supports your specialty.