Imagery of Regent people and campus

Doctoral Project Abstract

Leading Medicine From the Future

Barry A. Doublestein
Regent University

As we draw near to the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, the collective cries of the American citizenry are reaching a deafening pitch: 'do something now to solve the looming healthcare crisis.' Unfortunately, most of the efforts for reform ignore the foundational element of care; the physician-patient relationship. Governments, insurers, attorneys, big businesses, and mid-level providers are at the table of reform, yet physicians are nowhere to be found. For most of the 20th Century, physicians have ignored driving trends and the cries of society to offer solutions that define medicine's future from their perspective. They can no longer sit by idly as spectators hoping for others to solve their problems.

This book is about calling physician-leaders to awaken to the knowledge that they do not have to accept futures designed and controlled by others. There are limitless alternative futures available which are awaiting analysis and implementation; the only thing standing in their way is a lack of commitment to the practices that bring them to fruition. This book is about how to lead medicine from the future, through the use of strategic foresight principles. Within its pages, physician-leaders will discover how to analyze the trends that result in probable futures, how to grapple with change that inevitably results from those trends, how to develop educated and effective change agents who will usher in the resulting change, and how to understand the role that creativity and innovation play in leading to a secure future.

Not a textbook on the finer points of futures studies or strategic foresight principles; it is a wake-up call to self-determination. Implementing strategic foresight principles result in physicians no longer having to wonder about the 'What Ifs' of predetermined or random futures; for through their use, physicians can create and anticipate their own opportunities and design strategies that produce positive outcomes. The call is simple...come forward physician-leaders and dedicate yourselves to creating a future in your own image.

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