Physicians' work should focus on personalized care, not transactional tasks

Shifting physicians' roles from transactional tasks to personalized care would best serve patients, physicians and society. According to a newly-articulated vision of shared care, physicians should reduce their roles in transactional aspects of care, such as gathering and entering data, providing disease-specific patient education, and providing most preventive care. Instead, such duties should be filled by other members of the health care team with complementary skills, leaving physicians to diagnose and help patients meet personal goals and objectives. Physicians' would provide personalized care by synthesizing data from diverse, often discordant sources; adjudicating the competing needs of multiple conditions; adjusting patients' treatment plans to align with their goals and preferences; and advocating for patients in a complicated, fragmented health care environment. To make this approach a reality, changes would need to occur on multiple levels including health care organization and delivery, technology, reimbursement, medical education, and practice and physician "buy-in." The authors state that their vision would meet the needs of patients and society while closing the gap between physicians' intended patient care mission and their current transactional roles. In the process, they explain, physicians could discover joy, purpose, and meaning in their work.

American Academy of Family Physicians