Sunday, June 24, 2007

The 4 types of urologists

I was having a discussion this weekend about the nature of private practice vs academic practice on my way back from the city and I'd like to share my thoughts with all 4 of my readers, plus mom.

As I see it, there are 4 types of urologist--or any physician for that matter. The 4 types may be classified as follows:

1: The academic hot-shot: this is the superstar academic physician. This doctor has NIH money as well as pharma dollars and is a consultant for many companies, either pharma or medical device or both. This doctor does very well financially and has a very secure future, since he or she can take their credentials with them wherever they go. These docs are the leaders of the specialty and influence, for better or worse, how the rest of us practice.

2: The typical academic physician: this physician sees the patients in an academic urology practice. They can get some pharma dollars or serve as consultants to medical device companies, but this is really not a significant source of income for them. These doctors are the worker bees of the academic practice, and to an extent, support the galavanting superstars. This type of typical academic physician serves at the whim of the chairman and/or board of governors and can be canned quite easily and mercilessly. These doctors grumble quite a bit.

3: The typical private practitioner: The most common type of urologist. Very hard working and very competent, these doctors roll with the punches and constantly adapt to the changing market place. They will always do well, yet they never feel in control, and complain quite often. The react to changes in the medical marketplace, though some react faster than others. Many, someplace along the line, lose their passion for the field and consider their specialty as a job. Que' lastima!

4: The private practice superstar: This is the go to guy, the urologist's urologist. This doctor sees only people on an out-of-network basis and commands high fees, yet has high volume as well. This type of urologist/doctor has extraordinary vision, foresight and business saavy. They have the ability to develop a practice that seems impervious the problems that plague the rest of us. These docs do very, very well.

5: The doc who thinks he/she is the superstar and yet is not. Of course, this is the largest of the categories.

Just some food for thought.