Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Powerful MDs

Modern Health Care presents its list of the 5o most powerful MDs in America. Four come from our little corner of the world.

#2, Jim Mongan, CEO of Partners Healthcare System
#3, Don Berwick, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
#13, John Halamka, our CIO
#42, Gary Gottlieb, CEO of Brigham and Women's Hospital

You never know what criteria are used in these kinds of selections, but I have decoded this process in part. Last night, I explained to our Board of Overseers that John was not selected for his success in establishing national standards for interchange of health care data, nor for his accomplishments in creating exceptional clinical information systems at our hospital. No, it is because he has the technical skills to hack into every email system in the country and therefore has blackmailable material on every doctor in America!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

OK, Paul, now I'm going to ask a question that you are free to refuse to answer!

As an M.D. with some administrative/management experience (but no training in such),I am curious: what is your perspective, now that you've been a hospital CEO for awhile, on M.D. CEO's? Do they tend to bring more, fewer, different, or what skills to the position? Do you feel that formal management training helps M.D.'s aspiring to such positions? I figure you are uniquely positioned to answer this question since you did not come from the healthcare field at all.
Again, feel free to take the 5th on this one, but I thought I'd try asking since I really would like to know.

Anonymous said...

sounds like you have been reading 2600 again?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was the mushroom thing.

Anonymous said...

A clarification; I am anon 7:40. I'm not sure if you can tell where a given comment is coming from, but I just want to reassure you that I am retired and have (or had) nothing to do with Boston or academic medical centers. This is not a trick question from one of the 50! (:

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:40, see my comments on this topic below in "For Students -- Breaking into the club".

And, no, I can't tell where a comment is coming from . . .

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:09 -- What's 2600?

Anonymous said...

Paul, from anon 7:40:

I had read that post. My question pertained more to my perception that the typical M.D. personality may not be so well suited to the current dogma of collaboration and teamwork required in the management sphere, plus they may approach the job with many preconceptions - but I appreciate your position and thanks for the response.

Anonymous said...

Well, for sure that is often a problem. You hate to generalize, but sometimes generalizations are accurate. It is sometimes personality, sometimes training, and sometimes both.

But when doctors can really engage in collaboration and teamwork, the results can be knock-your-socks-off spectacular because of their high level of commitment to patients and their analytical abilities. Without wanting to look like I am bragging, we have many in that category here, and it is part of the pleasure of coming to work every day.

flupianez said...

I wonder what those powerful MDs will think about the article from McKinlay and Marceau titled "The end of the golden age of doctoring".

The authors explain eight interrelated reasons for the decline of the golden age of doctoring:

Major extrinsicfactors (generally outside the control of the profession) include:

(1) the changing nature of the state and loss of its partisan support for doctoring,
(2) the bureaucratization (corporatization) of doctoring;
(3) the emerging competitive threat from other health care workers;
(4) the consequences of globalization and the information revolution;
(5) the epidemiologic transition and changes in the public conception of the body; and
(6) changes in the doctor-patient relationship and the erosion of patient trust

Major intrinsic factors are:

(7) the weakening of physicians’ labor market position through oversupply; and
(8) the fragmentation or weakening of the physicians, union (AMA).

I really recommend the reading of this article.

Sachi said...

Congratulations to John..he is simply amazing!!

Anonymous said...

"....the emerging competitve threat from other health care workers" ?????
competivie threat????
....just what "other health care workers" are the authors and flupianez so afraid of, I wonder

flupianez said...

Dear anonymous,

Here are the references about the authors:
and about me:

Finally I really recommend you the reading of the article where the point "emerging competitve threat from other health care workers" is very well explained.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you want me to send you the article.

Kind regards