Is physician-administered anesthesia delivery – often referred to as “solo practice” – still a viable option in today’s health care market?

I’m not sure the “Point-Counterpoint” debate in Boston at ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2017 settled the question, but the standing-room-only audience – with a number of residents listening intently – proved that it sparks intense interest, with strong opinions pro and con.

Michael Simon, M.D., M.B.A., FASA, opened the debate, arguing that physician-only delivery of care is indeed a thing of the past. He flipped through a comical series of photos – dinosaurs, Model T automobiles, pay phones, mainframe computers, and the Bee Gees in their prime – to make the point that time and technology move forward inexorably.

“Powerful forces are at play,” Dr. Simon said, and all of them are working against the physician-only model of care. These include health care economics, workforce shortages, the technology to monitor multiple...

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