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Docs (Or Maybe Nurses) In Charge

Bob Lutz attributes the auto industry's decline to the pervasive influence of 'bean counters' - MBAs who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  From a review of his new book "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters:"
"The only time Apple ever lost the plot was when it put the M.B.A.s in charge. As long as college dropout Steve Jobs is in the driver's seat, customers (and shareholders) are happy. The reason is clearly the one Lutz puts forward in his book: 'Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys.'"
And car companies by car guys and, dare we say, hospitals by health care guys and gals.  But which health care guys and gals, exactly?  We may know the answer to that thanks to Amanda Goodall PhD, a senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, and author of a study of top-performing health care organizations.

Goodall's research finds that top-performers are more likely to be led by a physician, not a 'professional' manager:
"...outstanding hospitals tend to be those run by somebody with a medical degree. I was surprised by the strength of the pattern. It seems that age-old conventions about having doctors in charge - currently an idea that is out of favor around the world - may turn out to have been right all along."
Can you name a truly great health care brand that's NOT physician-led?  Maybe a few, but not many. 

Car Guy Lutz doesn't write about health care, more's the pity, and no rules are universal.  I've known many wonderful, caring M.B.A.s and some breathtakingly stupid physicians.  But health care needs a few arrogant cranks like Lutz calling 'time out' on the bean counters.  Maybe I'll volunteer.

And were it up to me, I'd put the nurses in charge.


Time: Driven Off the Road By M.B.A.s

Medical News Today: Physician Leadership In the Best Hospitals


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