Private Hospitals, Please Take Note: There are Proven Results that Hospitals Managed by Doctors Provide the Best Overall Quality and are Better Ranked

Newsweek has listed the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic as No. 1 and No. 2 in the U.S. respectively for the year 2021. The CEOs of both the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic are highly skilled physicians. In fact, both institutions have been physician-managed since they were formed over a century ago.

According to a December 2016 Harvard Business Review article, a study published in 2011 of CEOs of the 100 best hospitals in the U.S. found that those led by medically trained doctors scored 25% higher in quality scores compared to those headed by professional managers.

There are many reasons why physician-managed hospitals are doing better than those managed by professional managers. One reason is “peer to peer credibility”. “Peer to peer credibility” is when an exemplary physician manages a hospital. It indicates to other doctors that the physician has made it and he/she has credibility and the insight to assist fellow physicians to succeed in their roles.

In addition, physicians who have made patients their focus all their life, often bring patient-focused strategy as leaders. In the age of patient-centeredness, this is sure to help. Having a boss who’s an expert in the core business will also boost the morale of the staff. They are also able to raise the job satisfaction of other physicians hence, contributing to organizational performance. Because they understand the high demands of the job, physician managers know how to create the right work environment for increased productivity.

Physician leaders signal confidence of an institution to potential hires, patients, donors, the pharma industry etc. They are open to more creative medical methods in saving patients’ lives and are open to failures as part of scientific discovery.

Another study by Nick Bloom, Raffaella Sadun and John Van Reenen as cited in the December 2016 Harvard Business Review article offered another valuable insight. The higher the proportion of clinicians as managers within a hospital, the greater the positive overall effect as compared to when there is a separation between clinical and management knowledge within hospitals.

The hiring of doctors as managers is still a relatively new practice in Malaysia. In fact, most private hospitals are still hiring professional managers to head their hospitals or to manage various departments. But studies have shown that the separation of knowledge between clinical and management does not augur well for hospital service quality. The way forward would be to hire doctors in various management capacities. If quality of service, performance, and patient satisfaction have increased, then it is best to commit to this trajectory.

Disruptive Doctors has made a commitment to retrain and upskill doctors to transition into management roles. The transferable skills will help doctors perform as managers who think about the bottom line while also being patient focused. The best of both worlds which guarantees success!

If the managements of private hospitals are looking for doctors to fill various management roles at your hospitals, do contact us at Disruptive Doctors. We are here to meet your needs.


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Wanting to explore the options you have out there? Do download Dr Selina’s Switching Careers for Doctors eBook here to get you started on your journey and don’t forget to catch our podcast and videos on our Spotify and YouTube channel

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