Do Physicians Have a Natural Aversion to Business? 

This is a question I have asked myself over and over multiple times per day during the last six weeks. 

One thing that has become increasingly apparent is bad things happen to both physicians and patients when physicians are not in charge of critical health care decision-making. 

And right now, the world is paying a terrible price.

So, I ask ad nauseum why is this such a problem now? Admittedly, not everywhere but seemingly much more common where physicians do not have leadership roles in hospitals in medical centers and government. 

Are medicine and business not compatible? 

Honestly, I hardly think so. Unfortunately, however I think too many physicians find it distasteful, possibly beneath them, and perhaps too many think it maybe it should be somebody else’s job. 

What I do not get is the seeming abdication on such a large scale of a profession at large to people with no real training in what we do.

It also appears that this mentality has been imparted into new physicians as well. 

If this does not change, medicine as a profession will continue to suffer and unfortunately so will our patients. Admittedly, private practices are not for everyone. I get that for sure. 

But staying ignorant of sound business principles and not insisting on physicians at the top has created tremendous problems for the patients we serve and of course our families. 

So, what are the solutions? 

Honestly, I think we can fix some of this with early exposure to basic business and legal principles. In my first go-round in health care as a DC during our last year of academics we spent 3 hours a week in mandatory business classes with an attorney who helped us navigate contracts, simple principles of law, as well as exposure to basic business and marketing principles.  This forever shaped the way I thought health care was because quite frankly did I not just view these as essential but honestly enjoyable! 

Besides aligning with physicians of similar mindsets, some business basics like rereading The Emyth Physician, and other entrepreneurial business books, classes, learning from our elders is a start. 

But what we really need is a total game plan, sooner rather than later. Fortunately some such us Authentic Medicine and  Physicians Working Together  have stepped up and taken the lead.

I pray, a sleeping giant in Medicine has been awoken by COVID-19.

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  6 comments for “Do Physicians Have a Natural Aversion to Business?

  1. Rando
    April 26, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    We had some business type classes in medical school and residency, but frankly we were all so busy with medicine we didn’t go or pay much attention. I learned as I went along in private practice.

    • Lisa Nassif
      April 27, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      Completely agree. What other entrepreneurial business books and classes do you recommend?

  2. Cliff Norman
    April 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I think the answer to this is yes. Scott Adams did risk assessments for various professions found that doctors were assigned “high risk” for loans. The talent stack and education of many doctors does not include knowledge of how to run a business.

  3. Benjamin Van Raalte
    April 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

    The Secretary of Health and Human Services is a LAWYER. No wonder he neither understood or reacted to the coronavirus threat. Before any of the readers make politics out of this, all the heads of HHS in the last 15 years were either politicians or attorneys, except one brief 6 month period two years ago where we had a physician politician.
    Should not the head of Health for the United States be a trained physician? Would we not think it absurd if a physician was appointed to the Supreme Court?

    • Kurt
      April 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised with the Supreme Court thing if the appointee was an M.D., J.D. or J.D., M.D. Combined degree would be legit and proper.

  4. Rick
    April 26, 2020 at 11:25 am

    We had some business classes too. Useless. We weren’t interested. And now I suck at business. But don’t regret it. It has hurt me, but I don’t care. I love what I do. I deal with the pain.

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