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Q&A: Dr. John Fitzgerald

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Executive Q & A

The Indiana Clinic, launched about a year ago, has signed 412 physicians as employees, and is still working toward a goal of as many as 1,500 by 2011. Those physicians practice in these areas: family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, psychiatry, sports medicine, geriatrics, neurology, general and trauma surgery, emergency medicine, critical care, orthopedics and pulmonology. The clinic, a joint venture of Clarian Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine, is headed by Dr. John Fitzgerald. He discussed the progress.

IBJ: Are you on schedule, ahead of schedule or behind schedule from where you expected to be a year ago?

A: We’re pretty close to being on pace. Every day I get an inquiry from other physicians that have an interest in learning more, and potentially joining the Indiana Clinic. We have physicians in 14 different specialties. We’ve got discussions ongoing with a number of others.

IBJ: When Clarian and IU first put out public details about the Indiana Clinic in May, you said you wanted 1,500 physicians on board by the end of 2011. Now you’re saying 1,000 to 1,500 by the first quarter of 2011. Is that a change in outlook?

A: We really haven’t adjusted our estimates at all. We’ve always said 1,200 to 1,500 physicians.

IBJ: Recently, IU med school’s 12 neurosurgeons elected not to join the Indiana Clinic, instead merging with the Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group. The leaders of those groups said the problem was that they practice in numerous hospital systems, and the Indiana Clinic is tied in closely with only Clarian facilities. Is a similar multi-hospital issue hindering other physician groups from joining the Indiana Clinic?

A: No, it isn’t. The IU [physician] groups, several of them have practice locations throughout the state. … Though without question, Clarian is our primary health system partner.

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