The Opportunity

Right now, not far from where you sit, there is an opportunity for a dramatic double win — an innovation in health care delivery that improves outcomes and simultaneously slashes costs.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Thanks to the perverse incentives built into fee-for-service medicine, these opportunities have been bypassed for decades.

Now, because of ongoing payment reform, the game is changing. The doors are open more widely than ever for innovation in health care delivery. Policy makers are doing their part. The rest is up to innovators on the front lines.

THE PHYSICIAN INNOVATOR’S mission is to serve physician innovators by being a source of inspiration, experience sharing, and learning. We hope to connect physician innovators with each other and to the tools and guidance that they need to succeed.

Is this your first visit? You can quickly get oriented by reading this page and/or watching this welcome video. Please let us know if you’d like to keep in touch.

Join the Conversation. Each month, we publish a feature story about and host a live conversation with a physician innovator.

Our Focus

Innovation in health care is an enormous and diverse space, but THE PHYSICIAN INNOVATOR has a narrow focus. We are interested in innovations that take the form of a small but full time team that redesigns care and delivers better care for a particular patient population.

We are interested in these innovations because so often these opportunities:

  • Are powerful enough to deliver double wins: better outcomes and lower costs.
  • Are not based on cutting-edge science and technology but on common sense principles that have been talked about for decades.
  • Require only modest investments and modest risks.
  • Are becoming financially sustainable as payment models change.
  • Can be pursued most anywhere — in every health system, in every part of the country.

What Do Physician
Innovators Do?

They choose a specific and local patient population that they care about deeply. They work to fully understand how today’s care falls short of these patients’ needs.

Then, they redesign care from scratch. They build multidisciplinary teams. They deploy providers in nontraditional ways. They sometimes even create new jobs.

Finally, they prove that their innovation works. They demonstrate the double win: better outcomes, lower costs.

Innovation, of course, is not the exclusive domain of physicians. Indeed, it will take innovators from all health professions to fix the system. But there will be little progress on the largest opportunities without energetic volunteer physician leadership. A groundswell of tens of thousands of physician innovators is exactly what the system needs.

Ready to join the effort? Step forward, lead innovation, fix health care.


Our core offering is a monthly feature focused on a physician innovator and their work. We publish an article and host a live conversation.

We encourage you to explore. The blog is a forum for exchanging ideas about what it will take to advance innovations in health care delivery. The education page suggests additional learning opportunities for physician innovators. The innovators directory may help you find another physician innovator who is working on something similar to your own effort.

Your host is Chris Trimble, a professor at Dartmouth who has spent his career studying the best practices for managing innovation within established organizations.

THE PHYSICIAN INNOVATOR is a not-for-profit endeavor supported by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.