How to Serve 3 or 4 Sick Care Masters ?

How to Serve 3 or 4 Sick Care Masters ?

It used to be all that doctors needed to do was serve the primary interests of their patients. Of course, private practice has always been a conflict of interest.

Then came the corporatization of medicine and the subsequent rise in the numbers of employed physicians, approaching 75% of the physician workforce, and they have to make the numbers. Now, we have added a third master-society in general, given the rising clinical and business disparate outcomes recognition of the importance of social determinants of health.

But wait. There is more. Now that all of you are burning out, you are expected to take care of yourself too. Given your 60-80 work weeks and pajama time catching up on those pesky EMRs, how's a girl or guy supposed to find time to do meditation, mindfulness training, joga, Pilates, kids time and all the rest?

Expecting doctors to serve three, if not four, masters comes with baggage and problems:

  1. They are neither willing nor able to do it
  2. They don't get paid to do it
  3. They have neither the tools nor resources to do it even it they wanted to
  4. They have conflicts of interest
  5. They don't have control of the outcomes
  6. They are disconnected from stove-piped social support bureaucracies
  7. Someone else wants the credit and has competing interests
  8. The ROI on investment does not accrue to short-term, bottom line focused bean counters and admintrators
  9. It takes another chunk out of already limited face time with patients and their families
  10. There are few, if any, incentives to do it given perverse compensation schemes.

Satisfying all these interests is another wicked problem that has to resolve the competing interests of colliding ecosystems. In the meantime, my guess is most doctors will smile, pay lip service and try their hardest to just take care of their patients and let the chips fall where they may until some data scientist figures it all out using AI and blockchain. Then, when they do, we can give them the sick care Masters green coat every April.

See you in Augusta.

Arlen Meyers, MD. MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • Peter Mitchell

    Very interesting.

Share this article

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics