Tuesday, August 28, 2007

BLOGSCAN - Dilbert in Medicine

On Retired Docs Thoughts, this post takes off with a commentary on the recent New England Journal of Medicine article on the rush to do "quality improvement" without evidence that it works to address the rise of the business culture in health care. The best part was:

Twenty years ago when I began to do some consultative work with the corporate world,I felt rather smug that my field (medicine) was immune to the Dilbert like silliness that seemed to pervade the corporate culture. However,medicine has become more and more corporate and the business school belief that one does not need know a business to run it is increasingly applied to medical practice . The business-speak jargon now echoes through the hospitals and clinics and we talk about vision statements and leveraging this and that and the suits with MBAs are no longer minor distractions but are in control. What the Dilbert cartoons depict are as applicable to much of medicine as they are to the bureaucratic world of big business.


Anonymous said...

This is a very valid point. I did my undergraduate and graduate work during the 70's in business. What I found disturbing was in my graduate program, after one course, many students felt they were experts in the area being taught. The problem was I had semesters in a given area with other related courses offering support for my ideas, whereas these students often had no educational background in business and their work experience was limited to one employer.

This contrasted to my working construction to put myself through school. Everyday I was putting the ideas we discussed in class to practical use. I was a supervisor at 19 because I could read.

Today it is all about buzz and jargon. Management styles have all gone by the wayside in favor of sucking up. Nobody looks at total cost to the user, only how much can I make now. Predatory pricing is the norm. A local nonprofit hospital has just formed a foundation to give away money. If they have that much money how about programs for the poor and underinsured. Oh, that is right, they own a for-profit insurance company.

We do live in a Dilbert would run by pointy haired guys. The scary part is the guys running things today were my peers, and if you know what I know, you would be very afraid.

Steve Lucas

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Roy, thanks very much for calling my attention to the NEJM article, which I thought was great. At the very least, I'm going to blog about it, and I'm quite pleased that the NEJM recognized its importance enough to publish it.