The power of proximity: Effects of a multidisciplinary fibroid clinic on interspecialty perceptions and practice patterns

Eric J. Keller*, Kayla Nixon, Lola Oladini, Howard B. Chrisman, Angela Chaudhari, Magdy P. Milad, Robert L. Vogelzang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Multidisciplinary collaboration has generally been shown to have positive effects on healthcare but can be difficult to facilitate. This study assessed the effects of a multidisciplinary fibroid clinic on practice patterns and clinician perceptions to better understand drivers of interspecialty collaboration. Materials and methods Annual rates of hysterectomies, myomectomies, and uterine fibroid embolizations (UFEs) performed in an urban healthcare system were collected from 2012–2019. Rates of each procedure were compared over time before and after launching a multidisciplinary fibroid clinic at the academic medical center. Referral rates were also compared. The gynecologists and interventional radiologists (IRs) involved in the clinic were interviewed 2 years prior to and after the clinic launch about their approaches to fibroids and perceptions of others who treat this condition. A phenomenological approach was used to identify and compare themes within the interviews by two researchers with excellent inter-rater agreement (κ = 0.80). Results and discussion Annual rates of fibroid procedures increased over time (p<0.01) but the relative number of UFEs decreased (p = 0.01). UFE referrals by the clinic gynecologists significantly increased as did the number of combined fibroid procedures (p<0.01). However, the rates of one fibroid procedure relative to others were not different between the clinic and rest of the healthcare system (p = 0.55). Specialty-specific perceptions of fibroid treatments and interspecialty dynamics did not change. Despite this, clinicians unanimously perceived the clinic and post-clinic practice patterns as positive and distinct from their previous work and relationships between gynecology and IR elsewhere. Limitations of this study included its single clinic design and potential confounder of differences in advertising pre- versus post-clinic. Conclusion Creating the right practice environment may be more important for fostering inter-specialty collaboration and work satisfaction than shared mental models or procedural volumes in certain practice settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0263058
JournalPloS one
Issue number1 1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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