The two explore the fact that many managers who lead healthcare institutions have what Patty calls a “business school mindset.”
The systematic failures of those with “business school mindsets” are thoroughly documented from within the graduate business schools themselves by highly regarded business school professors.
Rami reached out to her after he listened to the Licensed to Lead podcast episode #3 titled Who are the Masters of Healthcare?
In that episode, Patty does a deep dive into the data about the performance of MBAs and MHAs. She uncovers surprising data about the outcomes for both business grads themselves and the employers who hire business school graduates.
The fact that business school professors are the most outspoken critics of what is called “managerialism” was an eye-opening result of her research on this topic.
The flaws of a “business school mindset” are brought into sharp relief during the COVID-19 crisis when hospital administrators criticize, threaten, and attempt to silence physicians. Administrative antipathy toward physicians and staff is visible when managers implement furloughs and financial cuts, fire physicians and staff, and create barriers to getting PPE.
The extensive research of Amanda Goodall and others provide clarity about the importance of professions being led by members of the profession. A business education and familiarity with financial tools don’t prepare someone to step into healthcare management. Yet that is the model of management presiding over the vast majority of healthcare institutions in the U.S.
Patty describes three skills that she says are “table stakes” for leaders – the most basic skill set that must be in place for anyone to lead. The three are: treat others with exquisite respect, provide clarity, and hold people accountable. She encourages listeners to think about successful and unsuccessful (or tyrannical) leaders and consider whether these skills are present or absent. It is important to “rule out” people for leadership if they lack these fundamentals. Only after these table stakes skills are confirmed, should interview teams and hiring executives pursue the more specific skills relevant to a leadership role (like strategic planning, financial acumen, or leadership presence).
They discuss evidence marrying the astronomical rise of healthcare costs and the business-trained CEOs with multi-million dollar salaries who are more focused on their personal finances than on patients, nurses, or clinical staff.
Dr. Wehbi and Dr. Fahy also share examples of the joy of working shoulder-to-shoulder with highly regarded physician leaders who have tacit knowledge of the core business and technical expertise. This discussion is a call to arms for physicians to recognize and act on their roles as leaders.
- Episode 008 – A conversation with Scott Smith, MD “A Bias for Action” - August 11, 2020
- Episode 007 – Why We’re Not Fixing Physician Burnout - June 29, 2020
- Episode 006 – Physician Burnout: The IMPACT - June 2, 2020