Clin Colon Rectal Surg 2019; 32(06): 461-664
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1693421
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Transitioning from Practice to Health Care Administration: The Later Years

Frank G. Opelka
1  Quality and Health Policy, American College of Surgeons, Washington, District of Columbia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
07 September 2019 (online)


Since the late 1800s, the role of the physician has evolved substantially beyond mainstream clinical medicine. As fee for service models expanded in the 1980s, resulting in an unsustainable financial crisis in health care, senior physicians stepped up to provide essential input and expertise to administrators on a national level. This model of physician–administrator has evolved to include dual-degree physicians who are equipped with specialized knowledge even at the outset of their career. As physicians are now vital members of health care administration, many will feel the need to transition from clinical practice to a new position where they can effect change on a larger scale. This article will provide insight into such transitions and dual-career pathways and discuss important considerations when faced with this juncture in one's career.