Medical Practice as a Professional Service
post # 478 — December 19, 2007 — a General post
R Paul L. Shillam, Controller at Pacific Medical Centers in Seattle wrote in to say:
â€œI just read the excerpt from your book published in Consulting (Nov/Dec 2008). Each time I read your views on professional consultants, accountants or legal firms, it easily translates to the practice of medicine. In a medical practice, there is a group of professionals trained in problem solving and decision making, and then dispensing recommendations to their clients. Clients can either choose to implement their recommendations or not. The medical consultant’s success depends a great deal on the relationship between the client and consultant. I could go on with the parallels.
â€œI think you miss a great opportunity to contribute to the changes needed in health care by limiting your practice to “service firms”. Isn’t the practice of medicine a service anyway? I would be interested in translating much of what you say about the “trusted advisor” and “relationships” in professional service firms to the practice of medicine. There is a huge push to change the way medicine is delivered in this country and the common sense approaches your offer to service firms have applicability in the practice of medicine.
â€œHere’s an idea, do a survey of some of your physician acquaintances to see how they react to your ideas…just a thought.â€
Whatâ€™s the reaction of the rest of you? Do any of you have experience applying professional service firm lessons to medical practitioners? How easy or difficult is it to make the â€œtranslationâ€? How receptive is the medical community?