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The Doctor Crisis: How Physicians Can, and Must, Lead the Way to Better Health Care Hardcover – May 6, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Many doctors are feeling pessimistic about the future of the medical profession. For them, doctoring seems harder and less fulfilling than ever before. Cochran, a physician-executive with the Kaiser Permanente medical organization, and Kenney, a health care writer, consider the causes of physician frustration and futility. As they see it, the contemporary “doctor crisis” exists because physicians cannot always put care of their patients first. Bureaucracy, a fear of liability, reduced payments, and excessive regulations are some of the many factors that prohibit doctors from placing “the patients’ needs above all else.” Part of the remedy is for physicians to assume active leadership roles. Doctors are positioned to play the major part in any ideal health care system that is patient-centered, easily accessed, fair, safe, affordable, efficient, high-quality, and innovative. Much of the book chronicles Cochran’s role in changing the culture and reshaping the medical group of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. The Doctor Crisis asserts that health care will only improve when the careers of physicians are fortified and their roles as leaders expanded. --Tony Miksanek

Review

"Rare is the book that defines and successfully presents solutions to a problem as complex as that faced by most practicing physicians today. Cochran and Kenney’s ability to present their ideas so clearly and cogently makes this an especially valuable book. Even though it specifically addresses change within the health care industry...it will doubtless serve as a very useful guide for anyone seeking to lead and effect change within their own organization or industry." —Boston Globe

“The executive director of the Permanente Federation argues that physicians are the key to creating a health care system that is patient-centered, safe, equitable, accessible and affordable. With the assistance of former Boston Globe journalist Kenney (Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center's Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience, 2010), Cochran draws on his years as president and chairman of the board of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Colorado, where he developed and tested many of the ideas presented here.... Cochran calls on doctors, who have been trained to be healers, to expand their mission and take on a combination role of healer/leader/partner.... the book gives outsiders a peek into the inner workings of a large medical group.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Many doctors are feeling pessimistic about the future of the medical profession. Cochran and Kenny consider part of the remedy is for physicians to play the major part in any ideal health care system that is patient-centered, easily accessed, fair, safe, affordable, efficient, high-quality, and innovative.”—Booklist

“With a unique combination of poetic storytelling, technical mastery, and executive savvy, Dr. Jack Cochran and Charles Kenney offer a design and a call for the learning and leadership we urgently need in health care. In a terrain of political debate too often marked by confusion and reductionist claims, this book brings real wisdom and compassion. It is a must-read for those searching for a route to a new care system.” —Donald M. Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

“The core of this compelling book is the true story of how a dedicated, passionate surgeon took on a leadership role to help turn around a struggling health care organization. Both practical and wise, The Doctor Crisis is a must-read for health care leaders everywhere. Cochran and Kenney have managed to capture the discipline and ordinariness of the many small actions and encounters that together produce dramatic organizational change.” —Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, and author of Teaming

“In this time of tumultuous change, physicians have great challenges and wonderful opportunities. Cochran and Kenney effectively make the case for physicians to lead delivery system change, and clearly and persuasively show how physician leadership will be a critical success factor as we build a better health care system for our patients and our communities.” —Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, Virginia Mason Health System

“The evidence is overwhelming that the American medical system is broken, yet few people have offered the wisdom, grit, and optimism to see a better future and reach for it. Cochran and Kenney have done just that. With extraordinary humanity and solid data, they remind all of us that status should not be confused with leadership. Each of us must learn from other disciplines, live with purpose and transparency, and make sure the joy in medicine is sustained for the next generation.” —Nancy L. Snyderman, MD, FACS, NBC News Chief Medical Editor, and Associate Clinical Professor, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

“Jack Cochran uses his personal experiences to draw important lessons for fundamentally transforming the US health care system. Because failure is truly not an option and the issues transcend mere money to encompass human life and well-being, everyone should read and heed Cochran’s profound wisdom.” —Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

“A compelling portrayal of why physicians must lead and show the way to transformative change in health care. This book should be read by every physician who has lost hope—or is losing hope—in achieving professional fulfillment.” —Dennis S. O’Leary, MD, former President, The Joint Commission

“Jack and Charles have written an inspiring piece that illustrates the personal and professional attributes that physicians and health care workers today must embody in order to improve the quality of patient care and to lead innovation within an all-too-fragmented health care service. Textured with moving vignettes from patients and the clinical community, The Doctor Crisis challenges physicians to stand up and lead, to take action, and to prioritize learning and evidence-based medicine.” —Professor the Lord Ara Darzi, PC, KBE, FRS, Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery and Chair of The Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

“The vision is compelling and provocative, that physicians and other clinicians should work together to be ‘healers-leaders-partners.’ The authors compel us with the new work, and also enable us with a rich array of stories, examples, and tools to guide our own personal journeys of growth.” —Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, Institute For Healthcare Improvement

“I have often been inspired by seeing firsthand in Colorado and other places how Dr. Jack Cochran and a great team of physician leaders transformed health care—and I am inspired by the many examples and stories which illustrate how they got started and how they ended up transforming care in a fundamental way. Like many others, I often asked Jack whether he could write these powerful examples down. With Charles Kenny, Jack Cochran has done a fantastic job at preserving the narrative of captivating events as they occurred, while at the same time drawing helpful lessons for system leaders and policy makers alike. A great read for anyone involved in making healthcare better!” —Nicolaus Henke, Global Leader of McKinsey’s Healthcare Practice, London

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anne on May 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very surprising book. I expected more of an academic book but this is a compelling story. As a surgeon, Dr. Cochran brings years of real world experience to the book. His anecdotes from his career are riveting. I was struck by how powerful a case the authors make to support the contention that there is a doctor crisis in the U. S. Some of the stats and research are really disturbing. Their basic thesis seems to be that the doctor crisis is a threat to the profession as well as to patients. With a crisis why should young men and women choose medicine as a career? And if so many physicians are burned out and unhappy -- deeply so in many cases -- isn't that something we patients should worry about? It sounds like a dark book but it is not in fact. Dr. Cochran cites a number of examples of health care organizations throughout the country that are making real progress in improving the working life for physicians and allowing them to escape some of the burdensome bureaucracy to focus on their patients. The examples are great and very real. Some are in California, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, and , one, I am happy to say, is where I get my care in Boston and I can attest that they do in fact do a first rate job. I have purchased a copy of this book for my doctor. I think every doctor should read it, especially those in primary care.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Boyle on May 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a serious book written by a doctor who has been in the trenches and worked as a top level administrator. The success he has achieved has to be acknowledged, thereby giving credence to his arguments that doctors should be allowed to practice medicine and to have a large voice in public health policy without the interference of bureaucrats, insurance companies, and drug company lobbyists.
This is not to say Dr. Cochran is an apologist for the medical profession. He believes that doctors must be more flexible, willing to embrace technology, and more humble in their approach to patients, nurses, and any one else with whom they work who does not happen to have a medical degree.
Overall, this is an extremely balanced approach to a health care crisis from someone who has seen it from different angles. His management approach, which I would describe as a hermeneutic of 'listening' was particularly refreshing and enlightening to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bob rizzi on July 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A comprehensive study of one of the most important policy isssues of today.
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By CarlaQ on July 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The future of medicine depends on the wisdom laid out in this book.
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By Lynn Ge-Zerbe on September 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
So so and boring, and takes 3 wks to ship.
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