Marcel Levi

How to become a superspecialist?

Speaker of TEDxAmsterdam 2021

Marcel Levi is Professor of Medicine at Amsterdam University Medical Center/University of Amsterdam and University College London. He is a consultant in Acute Medicine and Haematology and focuses on coagulation, thrombosis, and vascular disease. In the last 15 years he was Chief Executive of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and of University College London Hospitals. Earlier he worked at the University of Perugia (Italy), in Oxford (UK) and the Center for Transgene Technology and Genetherapy of the University of Leuven, Belgium. He has published more than 750 articles in scientific journals and has been awarded a number of international research awards. He is currently chairman or board member of several national and international health and research organisations and charities. He became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science in 2008 and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom. Since April 2021 he is president of the Dutch National Research Council.

About Marcel Levi

Professor of Medicine and Consultant in Acute Medicine and Haematology
Biomedical knowledge, resulting in better treatment for patients, is accumulating at a breathtaking pace. However, this comes at a price. It is increasingly difficult for physicians to oversee all details of the entire spectrum of medicine. This has led to growing subspecialisation where doctors not only focus on one organ system but rather concentrate on only a tiny part of an organ or just a specific disease. In a world with rising numbers of elderly patients who often accumulate a variety of different conditions in various organs this model of a different doctor for each different condition is unsustainable and leads to unwanted fragmentation. There is nothing wrong with doctors knowing a lot of a specific part of medicine; However, the problem is that these highly specialized subspecialists often do not feel responsible or are not interested anymore in the rest of the patient. As a matter of fact, this subspecialization does not only occur in medicine but in a variety of professional disciplines. Marcel Levi, a professor of medicine, will propose how subspecialists can transform themselves to superspecialists. In this model professionals are still highly skilled experts in their specific area but retain a generalist view on their patients (or customers) as a whole.

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