Traditional medical practice: Time has changed: Guest blogger Dr. Shalini Ratan

Managing a medical practice has never been a subject of learning in the medical education system. This has led to a lack of awareness among medical practitioners regarding the philosophy and methodology of running a medical practice with formal skills and planning.

Typically, practicing medicine involves giving a diagnosis and prescribing a treatment for a medical condition, but health care reforms are going to change the way medical practice is done today.
Doctors face many challenges in the current corporatized healthcare environment. This can be related to innovation in technology, upcoming corporate hospitals, changing patient behavior or current medical practices.

Profitable and satisfying practice is becoming complex, unpredictable and stressful.

Time has changed and the benefits offered by the traditional medical practice have become less effective in today’s complex environment.

There are various factors that have influence on medical practice:

  1. Practice growth and new entrants: Experience is one of the most important barriers to entry. This is one of the reasons why many new entrants find it difficult to start their own practice.
  2. Specialized skills and technology: This is to enhance the opportunity of a medical professional to do well in their practice.
  3. Patient load: Many providers treat more patients per day, spending less time on the clinical diagnosis of each patient. More dependence is on referrals and diagnostic tests. This has severe cost and quality implications.
  4. Referrals: Fifty percent of private practitioners refer patients to other specialists and in one third of cases this is quite frequent.
  5. Payment system: There is no specific basis to decide on a payment structure. It is mainly based on a specific service or procedure and the time spent by the doctor with the patient.

There are various other factors like the...

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