ArticleThe Business of Academic Medicine Is a Business Like No Other A PerspectiveMooradian, Arshag D. MD; Meenrajan, Senthil MD, MBAAuthor Information Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville. Corresponding author: Arshag D. Mooradian, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Florida, 653-1 West Eighth St, Jacksonville, FL 32209 ([email protected]). The authors have read the conflict-of-interest document and report no conflict of interests related to this article. All authors had access to the data and a role in writing the manuscript. The Health Care Manager: October 2009 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 344-350 doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e3181bddba9 Buy Metrics Abstract The financial challenges facing the academic medical centers and in particular the departments of medicine continue to escalate. In response, many centers have been increasing their expectations of clinical productivity while holding the physician compensation down. This model of capitalization of such centers intuitively makes little sense from a business perspective but has potential advantages in the short run and may be surprisingly sustainable for a variable period, depending on a number of factors; in some instances, it may last long enough to be considered a long-term success. The reason for this counterintuitive notion is that the business of academic medicine is quite different from traditional business. The comparative profiles of the academic medicine business and the other for-profit businesses are discussed. The willingness of many talented faculty members to forgo financial remuneration in exchange for opportunity to pursue scholarly activities can be misinterpreted by business planners as a prospect to muster a physician workforce with modest investments that are below market value. This mind-set fails to acknowledge the costs of creating the academic environment that will be attractive enough to faculty to practice medicine. Perhaps the most important feature that distinguishes academic medicine from the other businesses is that its workforce is medical professionals who have a fiduciary relationship with their customers. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.