More healthcare clients are calling the doctor when they have an administrative position to fill, says healthcare executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, Ford, Hadelman & Lloyd.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company says that last year, for the first time ever, physician executives constituted the greatest number of its placements--62 out of 377 placements, or 16.4%. The number of physician executives placed by Witt/Kieffer, one of the 10 largest healthcare search firms, was double the number placed in 1995.
Physicians are often asked to fill newly created administrative positions when hospitals form integrated systems, says Mary Frances Lyons, M.D., a Witt/Kieffer senior consultant. Also, organizations with a large number of physicians often want a physician executive present to give the organization more credibility among the doctors. Right now, few physicians are chief executive officers, Lyons says.
A good physician executive is hard to find, which is why their average pay was $178,677 last year, with a 21% incentive reward, compared with $160,474, with a 20.3% incentive reward, for chief executive officers, according to Witt/Kieffer.
"That doesn't necessarily mean physicians make more money (than CEOs), although that has happened, mostly because a physician commands a premium," Lyons says. "Right now there's a supply and demand imbalance of talented physician executives."
Gay journal premieres. "At last, a journal for lesbian, gay male, bisexual and transgendered health."
So declares a headline in the premier issue of the Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, which touts itself as the first peer-reviewed journal to focus on gay and lesbian medical issues.
Among the first issue's articles: a commentary about how AIDS transmission is "guaranteed" in "stigmatized" populations such as gay men, prostitutes, African-Americans and Hispanics; a study of gynecological infections and sexual practices of Boston-area lesbians; and a guideline for psychiatrists on how to treat homosexual patients.
The journal's editors--Mark Townsend, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Louisiana State University, and Jocelyn White, M.D., a general internist at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Ore.--don't mince words in stating their belief that so-called mainstream medicine and its journals are failing to address homosexual health issues.
"Whether due to institutional homophobia or a desire simply to avoid controversy, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) patients were rarely mentioned" in mainstream journals, Townsend and White write.
Ben Shatz, executive director of the San Francisco-based Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, says he wants to see the publication read by a mainstream audience. It's off to a good start: The National Library of Medicine, whose holdings influence the purchases of many medical schools, bought a subscription.
See you in the virtual funny papers. The Internet is hosting plenty of anti-managed care screens these days, but only one stars talking stethoscopes.
"MC MD: Adventures in Managed Care," is described by its creator as "a biweekly comic poking gentle fun at the managed care industry." That statement is intended to be sarcastic; the year-old strip is as gentle as sandpaper.
The comic strip's portrayal of a workplace stymied by stupidity from the executive suite--namely, the managed care executive's suite--is similar in tone to "Dilbert." But instead of an engineer, the executive has a talking dog and a pointy-haired boss who trade snappy dialogue. "MC MD" features stethoscopes, with obscure symbols on their chest pieces, that speak proficient medical lingo.
The symbols are inspired by movies, and the creator of "MC MD" is quite the cineaste. For example, the June 1 strip mocking a bioethicist features chest-piece symbols that recall "Big Top Pee Wee," "For a Few Dollars More" and animation compilation "Robot Carnival," "The Miracle Worker" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." How all of this connects is way too complicated to explain here. The comic can be found at http://members.aol.com/mcmdcomic/index.htm.
And the creator's name? As with most anti-managed care sites, no name is divulged, apparently for fear of reprisals from offended managed-care executives.
In an electronic-mail message to Modern Physician, the creator, identified only as [email protected], writes that he is a medical sub-specialist practicing in a large, California-based organization. He also handles administrative duties, he writes, "so I know whereof I speak."