Challenges and Opportunities
Dermatology faces chronic patient access challenges due to a shortage of Dermatologists. DermCo aims to deploy new models and technologies to improve patient access, in a manner that preserves clinical quality, while adding convenience and commercial efficiency for Dermatologists.
Leadership and Professional Control
Dermatology is at risk of corporatisation by non-medical, commercial groups. This is unlikely to be a positive change for patients or Dermatologists. DermCo aims to provide a vehicle for Dermatologists to work collaboratively, to forge a more favourable future.
Erosion of core clinical domains
Core dermatology domains are increasingly being managed by non-dermatologists. Skin cancer, allergic dermatoses, cosmetic & laser, and alopecia are prominent examples. If this trend is not addressed by the profession, patient care is likely to suffer, and Dermatology may struggle for continued relevance. DermCo aims to counteract this risk.
Innovation and major projects
Dermatologists are time-poor and patient waiting lists are long. Regardless of potential upside, the opportunity cost to take on new projects is often too great. DermCo brings professional management capability to deliver major projects, guided by the needs and expertise of the group, for the ultimate benefit of patients.
A nationwide network
DermCo aims to grow a nationwide network of excellent practices, to benefit from the efficiency and concentrated expertise that can be achieved with scale. This avoids duplication of effort, allows good ideas to propagate, and unlocks the potential for large collaborative projects (telehealth, clinical trials, research & training etc.). This Federation of States model also preserves the individuality of each practice.
Changing professional expectations
Attitudes towards professional goals, work-life-balance and practice ownership are changing among younger Dermatologists. Yet, the current landscape presents only two choices- the role of perpetual associate or reluctant successor. DermCo offers an alternative- a collaborative model, where younger Fellows can work alongside respected colleagues, on truly equitable terms, without the stress of practice management. Meanwhile, as Partners in a well run business, they can access improved income and investment opportunities.
As younger dermatologists turn away from practice ownership, retiring Dermatologists face a succession dilemma. It is becoming increasingly common for end-of-career dermatologists to simply ‘shut up shop’ upon retirement, with little recognition for a lifetime’s work. Essential patient care is often disrupted in the process. Regardless of any inherent commercial value, no market exists for practices of retiring principals. The DermCo model addresses this issue and provides a commercial mechanism for succession which is also fit for the needs of the next generation.