Physicians versus administrators

Manoj Jain writes in the Washington Post about the increasing tensions doctors have with hospital administrators.

One reason he gives are the differences in perspective:

Doctors . . . have a “single-patient worldview with a focus on clinical culture which emphasizes autonomy,” while administrators have a “management-culture focus that emphasizes teamwork and integrated worldview.”

Not surprisingly, the amount of power doctors have is associated with the need for their service. Areas that have physician shortages tend to favor the doctors.

A case in point is payment for emergency coverage. More specialists are demanding to be paid for call, to the chagrin of hospitals. Doctors generally do not prevail in areas that are saturated with physicians.

One way to solve the tension is to open the lines of communication. Administrators should seek physician input before making any decision. Leaving doctors out of the loop only enforces the animosity between the two sides.

Often times, it is the patient that bears the brunt of the conflict.

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