This is part 4 of the interview. Click to see part 3.
Piotr Gajewski, MD, PhD: How do you see the future of internal medicine in North America?
Philip A. Masters, MD: That is a really good question. It is a future that we are trying to influence in all honesty.
I think we still need to make the argument of the inherent value of the internist in our system.
I think we need—and we are working very diligently at this—to remove some of the disincentives for people to pursue a general internal medicine career. Those typically tend to be the administrative burden or reimbursement issues compared to subspecialists in other specialties.
We need to to restate the value, so that people—particularly regulators, payers, institutions, and organizations—understand the value that general internists bring to the table, all the while obviously wanting to work with their subspecialty colleagues, because we are in many ways one and the same.
What I think we would like to see is continued growth of internal medicine: it is growing, but I am thinking about an even more robust growth of general internal medicine, both primary care and hospitalists moving forward.
Piotr Gajewski: Doctor Masters, thank you very much for this interview.