BACKGROUND: Many large academic practices have accepted the notion that subspecialization provides certain benefits - more consistent care, a higher degree of state-of-the-art knowledge, improved teaching, and better working relationships and communication among the subspecialty anesthesia faculty and their surgical and nursing colleagues. But a rigid subspecialty grouping is rarely done in the main body of an academic faculty. STUDY DESIGN: To evaluate if subspecialization provides greater satisfaction for an academic general services anesthesia faculty, a survey about work conditions and perceptions was undertaken before and after reorganization of a large academic practice. Scores for each question were on a scale of 1 to 5. RESULTS: Although there was a sense that excellent expert care was more often delivered after subspecialty reorganization, the overall faculty impression of their workplace was not markedly changed (prereorganization 3.52 ± .56; postreorganization 3.60 ± .34 [mean score ± SD]; p = NS). CONCLUSIONS: The faculty did not perceive an overall benefit from a move to greater subspecialization in the organization of the anesthesia department, despite the leadership's opinion that the workplace had become much more functional and productive.
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