Commodity Practice Philosophy

From Robert Frost’s Road to the Great Junction


Sometimes waxing poetic is the best way to stark realism.

Consider Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Many medical groups are at a similar junction in their life, what I call the Great Junction™, with one road leading to commoditization and the other to creating an experience monopoly. The commodity route is the easy route – selling out to hospitals and national groups, protecting the bottom side and irrevocably capping the upside. The experience monopoly route is difficult, risky but potentially highly rewarding.

Unfortunately, it appears as if the commodity route will be the road more traveled.

But imagine yourself five years from now; what story will you tell about your group’s journey? What road did you take?

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