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Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2021 Sep 21;5(5):951-960. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2021.06.008. eCollection 2021 Oct.
OBJECTIVE: To examine best practices and policies for effectively merging community and academic physicians in integrated health care systems.
METHODS: Deans of US allopathic medical schools were systematically interviewed between February and June 2017 regarding growth in their faculty practice plan (FPP), including logistics and best practices for integration of community physicians.
RESULTS: The survey was completed by 107 of 143 (74.8) of US medical school deans approached. Of these institutions, 73 met criteria for final analysis (research-based medical schools with FPPs of >300 physicians). Most academic medical center-based FPPs have increased in size over the last 5 years, with further growth anticipated via adding community physicians (85%). Because of disparate practice locations, integration of community and academic physicians has been slow. When fully integrated, community physicians predominantly have a clinical role with productivity incentives. Deans report that cultural issues must be addressed to avoid conflict. Consensus exists that transparent clinical work requirements for all FPP members, clearly defined productivity incentives, additional promotion tracks, and early involvement of department chairs and other leaders enhances trust and creates better synergy among all physician providers.
CONCLUSION: Findings from this study should help guide FPPs, academic medical center leaders, chief medical officers, and professional and trade organizations in working toward positive physician synergy in consolidated health care organizations. Work and cultural considerations must be addressed to honor distinct talents of each physician group, facilitating smooth transition from disparate groups to healthy synergy.