United Physicians, a nonprofit, is a new kind of physician organization specifically created to advance the interests of physicians and patients. United Physicians advocates as a unified physician voice for quality patient care lead solely by physician members, with every significant decision being made by the entire organization of voting members.
United Physicians is an “alliance,” not a union. Members can sign up for free on the website, submit important issues they would like to see advocated for, and vote on advancing any issue. As each issue advances through the voting process, specific goals and estimated budgets are assigned and voted on by the entire membership.
COVID-19 highlighted the need for physicians to unify around important changes in medicine that will not only impact their own lives but the lives of their patients. United Physicians was also formed to provide a platform for physicians to collectively share ideas and solutions to combat the rising tide of physician burnout and suicide. United Physicians hopes that this new platform will give physicians a louder and more strategic voice.
Most physicians believe they are excluded from discussions that impact their livelihood and how they care for patients. Hospitals and insurance boards are staffed with executives, not physicians. Professional organizations built to protect physicians such as American Medical Association (about 250,000 members) and the American College of Physicians (about 160,000 members), are governed from the top down and not solely focused on the interests of physicians.
United Physicians is a new approach, something that has not been tried before. There may not be a better time for the 800,000 physicians in the United States to unify for a seat at the decision table.
“United Physicians offers the first platform of its kind allowing the opportunity for physicians to join together to advocate on big issues impacting our profession. We need a majority of physicians to join to make this a truly unified voice for change, not only for our patients but to improve the profession we love,” said Paul Teirstein MD, Chief of Cardiology at Scripps Clinic La Jolla and one of the founding physicians of United Physicians.