Physician interest in unions on the rise

CAL/AAEM News Service at
Sun Sep 18 21:41:01 PDT 2016



August 19, 2016


Physician interest in unions on the rise



zZXVVdm89In0%3D> Fierce Healthcare



By Matt Kuhrt


As more and more doctors leave private practice for employment at healthcare
organizations, interest in unions has inevitably followed, according to an
article in Medscape, though questions remain about their ultimate utility
for physicians seeking to stand up to management.


Unionization's appeal to doctors who find themselves ceding what used to be
an autonomous profession to administrations with which they find themselves
at odds makes sense, says Frank Proscia, M.D., president of the Doctors
Council union, which represents around 4,000 physicians and dentists. He
reports fielding an increasing number of questions from doctors interested
in establishing unions because "one doctor speaking up against management is
not going to be heard."


The realities of medical practice have made unions a less than perfect fit
to date, however. Physicians in Oregon unionized in order to resist an
initiative that aimed to outsource their system's hospitalists. While
successful, Medscape points out that the subsequent negotiations between the
union and the healthcare system took nearly two years to hammer out.


The nature of medical practice and doctors' responsibilities to their
patients complicate the effectiveness of physician unions. As much as
doctors may clash with management, a majority of them look to become
employed in order to avoid dealing with the administrative hassles of
running a business, as FiercePracticeManagement has previously reported. In
addition, a lot of the leverage unions hold over management comes from the
threat of a strike, an action that arguably poses a danger to patients or
that could ultimately backfire, causing patients to blame doctors for their
inconvenience, rather than the situation the doctors are protesting,
according to the article.


In the end, the solution may involve a new model of physician unions that
caters to doctors' specific needs and de-emphasizes striking, says Stuart A.
Bussey, M.D., J.D., president of the Union of American Physicians and




Jeff Wells
Deputy Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service


Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service

Contact us at:  < at> at

For more articles, visit our  <>

 <mailto:somcaaem at> To
<>  unsubscribe from this
list, visit our mail server.

Copyright (C) 2015. The California Chapter of the American Academy of
Emergency Medicine (CAL/AAEM).  <> All rights reserved.

CAL/AAEM, a nonprofit professional organization for emergency physicians,
operates the CAL/AAEM News Service solely as an educational resource for
physicians. Dissemination of an article by CAL/AAEM News Service does not
imply endorsement, agreement, or recommendation by CAL/AAEM News Service,

Follow CAL/AAEM on Facebook and Twitter:




This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 24675 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image002.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 877 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image003.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 819 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image004.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 1824 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the CALAAEM mailing list