From the "Year in Ideas" special issue of the New York Times magazine, two psychologists, Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, have developed the "B-Scan," an instrument designed to detect whether the CEO of an organization is a psychopath. The instrument is currently being field tested.
Babiak, as quoted in the Vancouver Sun, "The psychopath is the kind of individual that can give you the good impression, has a charming facade, can look and sound like the ideal leader, but behind the mask has a dark side. And it's this dark side of the personality that lies, is deceitful, is manipulative, that bullies other people, that promotes fraud in the organization and steals the company's money...." He fears that psychopaths are increasingly attracted to the business world because, as per a news report in Science, "the rapid pace of technological change, downsizing, and sudden growth make for a chaotic environment ripe for mistrust and manipulation."
Babiak and Hare have a book in the works titled "Snakes in Suits."
In the brief news reports available on the web there is nothing specific about the prevalence of such "snakes" in health care. If the hypothesis that a fast-paced, technological, and chaotic environment attracts psychopaths is correct, however, health care should have its fair share.
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