While the term “surgicalist” is still widely unheard of in the healthcare industry, The Surgicalist Group’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Mit Desai, has been living the Surgicalist lifestyle for well over a decade. For him, the benefits of becoming a Surgicalist and taking the road less traveled are easily justified. It also seems that our colleagues resoundingly agree.
As I’ve shared previously, my motivation for founding The Surgicalist Group, was personal. In seeking a better quality of life as a surgeon, I knew continuing down the road I was on was going to lead to a life where I was living to work versus working to live. Based on data from the American College of Surgeons, 60% of surgeons report being either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their current role as a general surgeon. The top reasons cited were lack of protected time off, inability to control schedules, mental and physician strain, and challenges with personal relationships. ACS data also tells us 73% of surgeons worked more than 60 hours a week, and 33% work over 70 hours a week.
Recently our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Casey Thomas, sent out a survey to evaluate how we are doing with our Surgicalist model. The preliminary results are encouraging. We had an 85% response rate and of those who have responded, we’ve learned that 100% of Surgicalists report being very satisfied or satisfied, citing reasons that were the building blocks of The Surgicalist Group’s model. The list of benefits included the week on / week off schedule, protected time off, more fulfilling personal / family life, and time for hobbies & travel. We also asked if having protected time off helps surgeons recuperate and bring more focus to their work during their week “on” service. Here we also saw a response rate that was good news: 100% confirmed having a week of R&R makes a positive difference in their work. And, not surprisingly, 93% of our surgeons strongly agreed that focusing solely on acute care surgery improved their well-being.
The Road Less Traveled
Like the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken,” I wanted to head down a path that was unknown but knew there had to be something more. The last stanza of that poem now rings true for me in so many ways, and I hope it resonates with you, too:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I thank all of our Surgicalists for all you do in taking care of yourselves and your patients especially now during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mit Desai, MD, FACS, Founder & CEO, The Surgicalist Group