State and Future of Family Medicine
Changes and challenges in healthcare are being felt across specialties. Family medicine, for one, is facing new competitors in the market like urgent care, with providers vying for the same episodic care. Family medicine needs to balance that with managing a population of people and preventing chronic disease. Family medicine is also becoming internally competitive, seeing new sub-specializations and focused practices on certain segments of the population while generalists need to keep up with new requirements.
There’s a lot for family medicine clinicians to keep up with and keep together. Mark Briesacher, MD, Chief Physician Executive & President of the Intermountain Medical Group sat down with Karyn Springer, MD, Family Medicine physician at North Orem Clinic as well as Mark Milligan, Family Medicine physician at Layton Clinic—both leaders on our Medical Group Board and Committees—to discuss the state of and future of family medicine.
On how family medicine can respond to competition and incremental change, Mark Milligan said:
“Access is so important, [patients] seek care wherever they can find it. Access can improve the quality of care too because we’re seeing patients when the care need happens. But we have to adapt to make ourselves available. At Layton we started allowing patients to schedule [appointments] online. Like buying movie tickets online and choosing a seat—patients are used to that and why can’t they expect this in healthcare? Patients want good care and we want them to [access] good care.”
On how family medicine can balance the demands of keeping patients healthy and treating episodes of care, Karyn said:
“It’s not just me managing them—it’s absolutely a team. That’s one of the biggest differences as medicine has evolved. It’s not just a doctor or APC taking care of a patient, it’s really a team that extends to my MA, to my care manager, my health advocate. I wouldn’t be able to do it without all my support.”
Mark Milligan added:
“That’s why it’s not overwhelming. We’re in an ocean of change…every step is daunting but we see the impact. When we see the next thing coming down the pike, we can get together as a big team, come up with how we can respond and be proactive, not stagnant, to continue to evolve and get better.”