That physicians make better CEO’s of health systems is not conjecture any more. A cross-sectional study of 300 chief executive officers of the top-100 U.S. hospitals in 2009, looked at quality measures in three specialties: Cancer, Digestive Disorders, and Heart and Heart Surgery. A strong positive association between the ranked quality of a hospital and whether the CEO is a physician (p<0.001) was apparent. (Goodall. Physician-leaders and hospital performance: Is there an association?) Only 235/6500 hospitals in the US had Physician CEO’s in 2009. Goodall used the US News and World Report criteria and noted that 16/21 CEO’s of the highest performing systems (honor rolls) were physicians. These high performing hospitals like the Mayo & Cleveland Clinics choose physicians for a reason.
Comment: We have argued previously that credibility is a big issue.Our paper here. Physician CEO’s who have practiced not only know how the quality and expense factors can be dealt with but can deal with physicians one on one and directly impact the care at hospitals.