Multidisciplinary practice: Is it right for you?

August 6, 2010

Could a multidisciplinary approach to practice be right for you? Chances are you have had more reasons to consider it, as rising costs force primary care practices to look for additional sources of revenue.

Key Points

Janice Johnston, MD, had been in a group family practice for less than two years when she found herself growing restless. "I had a lot of ideas for ways to make things better and more convenient for our patients and wasn't getting anywhere, so I decided to start out on my own [to] try to implement some of those changes," she says.

Could a multidisciplinary approach to practice be right for you? Chances are you have had more reasons to consider it, as rising costs force primary care practices to look for additional sources of revenue. In addition, a growing number of patients are seeking a more holistic approach to care, and in a society that seems to be more and more time pressed, the "one-stop shopping" concept has appeal.

MULTISPECIALTY GROUP PRACTICE

One option is to be part of a large, multispecialty practice. It was the career chosen by about 14 percent of primary care residents who graduated in 2009, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. It was the choice Glen Stream, MD, FAAFP, made when he joined Rockwood Clinic in the early 1990s. Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, Rockwood includes 41 specialties and services with 130 practitioners, about 35 of whom are in family practice or internal medicine.

Julie Anderson, MD, FAAFP, a family practitioner with St. Cloud Medical Group, a 45-physician multispecialty practice in St. Cloud, Minnesota, likes having easy access to the expertise of the specialists in her group. "It's nice to feel at ease just grabbing them in the hall. If there's a specific question or maybe you just need a little guidance on something, they are there for us."

Anderson adds that she enjoys the option of deciding for herself how involved she wants to be in the group's administration. "Not everyone is thrilled to be on the business side, and here you can be as involved or not as you choose."