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Labor representatives, researchers, and managed care executives will face off Dec. 11 at a roundtable discussion on physician unionization at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.
The roundtable is part of Kennesaw State University’s MBA for Physician Executives program. The 21-month program at the Michael J. Coles College of Business always includes a roundtable discussion on a controversial topic that is open to physicians not participating in the MBA program, says Gary Selden, PhD, director of executive programs.
"The topic of physician unionization is a hot topic right now," Selden says. "We have invited some participants who are very passionate on both sides of the issue. We expect that the pros and cons will be thoroughly discussed."
The participants will debate issues such as whether insurance companies put cost concerns ahead of patient care and physician compensation; the balancing act between providing quality care and appeasing stockholders; and fears that doctors may strike, leaving lives in the balance.
"The patient, the doctor, the business owner, and the stockholder could all feel the impact of unionization," says Rodney Alsup, associate dean of graduate programs. "The MBA for Phy sician Executives is the perfect forum for discussion since many of our students face daily conflicts between providing good care and operating their businesses."
Roundtable participants include Jack Seddon, executive director of the Federation of Physicians and Dentists; Dave Shafer, United HealthCare vice president for Ohio; Suhail Kahn, aide to Congressman Tom Campbell of California, sponsor of legislation that would lift the antitrust prohibition against collective bargaining; Grace Budrys, PhD, professor of sociology at DePaul University and author of When Doctors Join Unions; and Andrew Thomas, MD, a trustee of Physicians for Responsible Negotiation, a division of the American Medical Association.
Physicians who want to participate should call Kennesaw State’s executive MBA program at (770) 423-6087.