The Phoenix Physician

DMU students are great leaders and volunteers on campus, in the community and in professional organizations. In that category are University’s Internal Medicine Interest Group, featured recently in a newsletter of the Iowa chapter of the American College of Physicians.

That’s why it was so cool when DMU graduate Robert G. Good, D.O., FACOI, president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI), recently came to campus to meet with the group and give a noon-hour talk. In addition to leading some engaged discussions, Dr. Good reinforced the importance of leadership to our students.

DMU graduate and ACOI President Robert Good, D.O., with leaders of the Internal Medicine Interest Group
DMU graduate and ACOI President Robert Good, D.O., FACOI, with leaders of the Internal Medicine Interest Group

One of the areas Dr. Good is advocating for, both as ACOI president and in his role as medical director of Carle Foundation Physician Services (a large multi specialty group based in southern Illinois), is the concept of the “Phoenix Physician.” He and his colleagues use this term to describe the “new physician leader” who will “rise out of the ashes” of the old health care system to steer a more patient-centered system – one that “will maximize available resources to provide high-quality care while respecting the patient-physician relationship.”

Drivers for this concept include the current physician shortage and anticipated increasing demand for services. These factors require physicians to rely on other members of the health care team, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and specialists. Concerns about health care quality and costs, especially relating to chronic disease management, are other big factors. These needs for patient care excellence, access, efficiency and greater emphasis on preventive care, Dr. Good and his fellow ACOI leaders say, make primary care physicians the ideal leaders in leading, coordinating and managing team-oriented health care.

Our students’ leadership opportunities, experiences and lifelong learning skills will help prepare and equip them to become those Phoenix Physicians. It’s nice to know our graduates – yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s – are exactly the kinds of leaders we need.

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