Editorials

Why healthcare systems need medical managers

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7095.1636 (Published 07 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1636

Doctor managers have distinct advantages

  1. Jenny Simpson, Chief executivea,
  2. Richard Smith, Editorb
  1. a BAMM, Barnes Hospital, Cheadle, Cheshire SK8 2NY
  2. b BMJ, London WC1H 9JR

    Healthcare systems need the best management. This can happen only if doctors become more involved in management and increase their management skills. Experience in many health systems has shown that doctor managers have distinct advantages over their non-medical counterparts, including greater credibility, a deeper knowledge of how health care works, and a less trammelled ability to speak out. But these advantages will count for little unless doctors who become managers are well trained and work to develop the intellectual base of medical management. Various initiatives are under way to develop medical managers, including the relaunch in February 1998 by the BMJ Publishing Group of the journal Clinician in Management.

    Doctor managers put patient care and clinical outcome ahead of the financial imperative, and this ultimately is the only way to develop the business of healthcare systems–looking after patients. Businesses prosper not …

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