Article Text

  1. J. D. Waldman1
  1. 1University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.


We perceive that a gap exists between two components of the health care workforce: management (MGT) and providers (MD). We studied 670 CEOs of US hospitals to understand their education, background, training, work experience, and cultural values. All factors were substantively different comparing MGT and MD, except the last. The two groups share core values: altruism, service, and love of a challenge. The present MGT-MD relationship, euphemistically called the blue suits and white coats, is generally adversarial, negatively impacts health care outcomes, and is based on erroneous stereotypes as well as misinformation. Common core values could be used as a foundation for convergence across the gap between MGT and MD. Each side has knowledge and skills that the other needs to achieve their goals-in-common. For example, MGT could teach MD tools for planning, implementation, and assessment, especially systems thinking. MD could identify for MGT the important, clinically relevant health care issues and assist MGT with generation of evidence for optimal decision-making with appropriate feedback. Much of the dysfunction in the health care system can be addressed if MGT and MD convert from enemies to partners.

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