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Physicians May Want to Consider a Medical Directorship with a Hospital

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Are you a physician who is unsure about hospital employment and looking at other options to avoid it?

You’re not alone, Kenneth J. Terry, MA, writes over at Medscape. Many of your colleagues are looking at other options beyond standard hospital employment as well.

Realistically, though, you’ll probably have to align with the local hospital in some way in your next position. One of these ways is by accepting a medical directorship.

Medical directorships have become another avenue “in which hospitals try to align doctors with them.” It should be noted at the outset that “[f]ewer of these part-time posts are available than in the past,” Kevin Kennedy, principal with Seattle-based ECG Management Consultants, told Terry, “because hospitals tend to fill them with employed doctors as they build integrated delivery services.”

It should also be noted that medical directorships will never be your full-time job, even though David Zetter, practice-management consultant from Mechanicsburg, Penn., said “some medical directorships can pay well.” A physician he knows “recently took such a post in a mental-health facility where he also provides services. He’ll make an additional $50,000 a year in revenue for performing medical director duties four-to-eight hours a week.”

Michael LaPenna, a healthcare consultant based in Grand Rapids, Mich., explained that “new types of medical directorships” are entering the marketplace.

“He has seen some healthcare organizations pay independent practitioners extra to be ‘transition doctors’ who help handle the transitions of patients from the hospital to home or skilled nursing facilities to prevent readmissions,” Terry reports. “Other physicians are being recruited by some hospitals to do telemedicine in their spare time.”

As physicians who are looking for jobs, have you considered possibly augmenting your income with a medical directorship should the opportunity present itself in your next position? Perhaps this is an offer you can make in the job interview, whether the interview is with a group practice or with a hospital.

A group practice might see your offer as a willingness to collaborate with the local hospital and not to alienate yourself from it. A hospital might view this as a genuine interest to be actively involved in the decision-making and direction of its mission and strategic goals. Regardless, it will show your personal investment in establishing an integrated care delivery system at your next job, and it will show your professional commitment to work on behalf of patients and your fellow providers in a leadership capacity.

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