An anonymous commentator, responding to a post that addressed questions raised in the media about managers who left the troubled University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to work for Drexel University Medical School, wrote,
Through Drexel leadership, the medical school just finished an outstanding LCME review, a very good match, outstanding board scores and fiscal solvency."Through Drexel leadership?" Based on my experience in medical education, I would argue, instead, that the people most responsible for good results in an accreditation review, in placing students into residencies, and in board examinations are the students themselves (especially related to the latter two), and the faculty who taught them. Medical school managers, of course, help provide the infrastructure and manage the financing that enables medical education to succeed. But giving the management first credit for educational results is somewhat grandiose. Managers may deserve more credit for fiscal solvency. But so do the students who pay the tuition, and the hard-working health care professionals and support personnel who actually do most of the work.
We have posted previously about how health care managers and bureaucrats seem to believe that what they do is central and more important than anyone else's work to their organizations.
For example, see this post which quotes the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Pheobe Putney Health System, "we'll manage it the way we damn well want."
Also, see this post about how the merger with UnitedHealth Group resulted in rich rewards for Pacificare executives. Wall Street analysts thought that the executives were deserving of huge financial rewards for the "risk" they took in trying to turn around a troubled health care company. However, it was their stock-holders who were at financial risk. The executives were paid employees, whose salaries were no more, and possibly less at risk than any other employees if the corporation were to fail.
The attitudes in these three cases seem analogous to that attributed to the French King Louis XIV, "l'etat c'est moi." Managers' apparent beliefs that they are of the most central importance to the medical school, the hospital system, or the managed care company negate the contributions of all the other dedicated people who make these organizations work. The managers perhaps believe that they in effect are owners of these organizations, which, of course, they do not actually own.
This notion that "l'organisation de la sante c'est moi" may represent some of the garbled thinking underlying our presently mismanged health care system.
(I apologize to all and sundry if I have made any errors using the French language. My language education was unfortunately stunted.)