Managing a Hospital Being a Doctor
It is very controversial with doctors nowadays beginning to take over hospital management and
The controversy being that doctors do not study finance or business administration and yet here they are running the hospital.
However, studies have proved that physician-led hospitals are actually better than those led by
business graduates or so! This study was carried out in the top-100 U.S. hospitals in the year
2009, and a strong positive association was found between the ranked quality of a hospital and
the being CEO either a physician or not.
1 This actually proves that doctors understand the
working of the hospitals better and thus manage it better. However, it is not just in the US that
this has been found out. In fact, in Ontario, about 10% of Ontario hospitals are led by doctors
and they tend to be larger centres comparatively.
2 .According to a study carried out in 2009, out of the approximately 6,500 hospitals present in
the United States, only 235 were being run by administrators who are doctors.
3 The question now arises that should doctors be allowed to lead hospitals or should they not? And should
they require a separate qualification or degree?
According to some people, they should do an MBA at least, which is Masters in Business
Administration or study Public Health so as to be aware of the special circumstances or of the
skills required. 2 However, many doctors who are running hospitals, do not feel the need for
such a degree.In their opinion, one should be aware of the procedures, equipments used so
that they can move things around, save some exposes and help make things easier for the staff
Hospitals have saved thousands of dollars by just changing the use of medical equipment,
all on the recommendations of their physician-leaders.
2 This is understandable as being doctors one has a more thorough knowledge of the procedures being used, things being done and can tweak or make adjustments better than someone who does not know much about the
As far as HR skills are concerned, then being doctors they already have polished communication
skills and not only have the practice of getting their view across but also to persuade people or
influence people to do so. This greatly helps when dealing with fellow administrators,
employees and making them accept the orders or instructions.
As far as marketing is concerned, doctors can understand the patients point of view and what
would attract them, make them come to the hospital or what they usually seek. By making use
of their clinical knowledge also, these physicians are able to create marketing ideas that
specifically target these views of patients and are thoroughly satisfying to them.
Based on these reports and statistics, it seems the future might have more of physician led
hospitals and those will flourish the most!
1. Goodall AH. Physician-leaders and hospital performance: is there an
association?. Social science & medicine. 2011 Aug 31;73(4):535-9.
3. Gunderman R, Kanter SL. Perspective: educating physicians to lead hospitals.
Academic medicine. 2009 Oct 1;84(10):1348-51.
Written by Dr. Aref Alabed ,