Monday, August 13, 2012

The future of healthcare: not your doctor, but the system

Dr Atul Gawande is one of my favourite writers. In his latest article, titled "Big Med", Dr Gawande draws parallels between the efficiency of restaurant chains such as the Cheesecake Factory , and the (in)efficiency of the US healthcare system.

Dr Gawande compares the two systems and says (page 10, para 7), "Patients won’t just look for the best specialist anymore; they’ll look for the best system."

While I don't mean to compare two different contexts, I've said something similar in my book about leadership: that leadership is a system, and we have to compare leadership systems, rather than the leaders themselves. Leaders are important, in the same way that individual doctors are important. There are bad leaders and good leaders, and good doctors and bad doctors. Nonetheless, these individual differences can pale in comparison to systemic differences. 

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