6 types of physician personas

Healthcare executives: Recognize any of these?

Learning physicians' personas and the nuances in how they approach work can help executives fine-tune their management tactics to be more effective and meet physicians' needs. The Advisory Board has detailed six personas that are worthy of executives' attention, particularly when determining where a physician will work best.

1. The digital natives. These physicians could work flawlessly on EMRs while blindfolded. They easily incorporate technology into their workloads. They have mastered the balance of writing enough information in the EMR's patient note to meet clinical objectives, but not so much that it bogs them down or gets them lost in the weeds. These physicians are also comfortable with virtual consults and other interactions with patients via email and phone.

2. The digital adaptors. These physicians struggle to manage the demands of their electronic workload. They have lower typing speeds and a hard time with the EMR user interface. They also have a difficult time balancing electronic demands with the demands of patients who are right in front of them.

3. The superproducers. These physicians are deeply motivated by productivity demands. They prefer tiered RVU compensation and are willing to work evenings and weekends to increase opportunity for clinical visits. Some medical groups take this personality into account when distributing primary care roles. For instance, superproducers might be fit for roles in traditional primary care offices with progressive RVU compensation.

4. The threshold workers. These physicians are motivated by both clinical objectives and the desire to strike work-life balance. They prefer threshold-based RVU compensation and oppose nontraditional work hours. Like the superproducers, threshold workers might be more cut out for a certain care setting. Some medical groups offer threshold workers roles in urgent care centers, where they receive shift-based salaries.

5. The coaches. Coach physicians see themselves as leaders of the care team. These physicians own the patient relationship and supervise or manage other clinicians. Medical groups can structure compensation to incent coach behavior from primary care physicians. The PCPs may receive a set annual amount to supervise advanced practitioners or they may receive a fee for each RVU generated by an AP.

6. The quarterbacks. Quarterback physicians, on the other hand, sees themselves as members of a care team. Unlike coaches, who own the patient relationship, quarterbacks see the care team as one made up of peers who are collectively responsible for patient relationships. Quarterbacks may "call the play," but they then hand off responsibility for the patient to another care team member. Some medical groups structure compensation to bring out quarterback behavior, as well. This compensation model might ask APs to cover a portion of the PCP's practice costs or involve PCPs and APs in profit sharing.

More articles on physicians and care teams:
5 concerns for physicians and patients in 2015
Physicians weigh in: 5 areas for improvement in healthcare
10 specialties with the most female residents

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