Part-time docs are becoming a bigger and bigger segment of the physician workforce. As their numbers will grow, so will the issues they present.
Stay-at-home docs are growing in number. More physicians want work-life balance and relief from stress, and generational differences are causing women and millennials to question the 7 a.m.-to-7p.m. work ethic. Both patients and providers are struggling with a new reality that will present some challenges:
1. We are not training doctors to adapt to the changing landscape but instead persist in using an irrelevant hospital-based model.
2. There are more and more options for those interested in non-clinical roles, particularly as consultants and freelancers.
3. Medicine is about lifelong learning and practice, practice, practice, particularly for proceduralists. Are part-timers as good as full-timers?
4. Generational differences are causing graduates to question their commitment to a full-time career, let alone a full-time job.
5. More and more women doctors are working more and more part-time.
6. Patients are questioning doctor shift changes
7. Handoffs are already causing problems. More of them will create more problems.
8. Technology and machines will displace some doctors. They will inevitably find something else to do to add value to patients.
9. The demand for care is infinite. The supply is becoming more constrained, requiring more, not less, effort by those in the trenches.
10. Some believe the economy has fundamentally changed, creating “Part-Time Nation” and bringing with it savings, investment, benefits and social upheaval.
Part-time docs are becoming a bigger and bigger segment of the physician workforce. As their numbers will grow, so will the issues they present. The sooner the medical establishment understands that, the better we can make the adjustments necessary to adapt. These folks aren't going away.