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And The Best Job In Academic Medicine Goes To…

With all due respect to the Pentagon, humankind has not invented a more complex organization than the modern academic medical center. The combination of high tech and high touch, the Byzantine regulations, the toxic medico-legal environment, the extraordinary pace of change…. Well, you get the idea.

But the most daunting challenges stem from trying to satisfy the AMC’s tripartite mission: providing high-quality, safe, patient-centric, and efficient clinical care across a spectrum of services; training the next generation of physicians and other caregivers; and performing cutting-edge research and innovation. Think about blending the missions of Target, Apple, Yale, and Nordstrom, and you’ll have a sense of the problem.

Unfortunately, the typical management structure of academic medical centers makes running this monstrosity even more difficult. The vast majority of AMCs are actually two (if not more) organizations blended (sort of) into one: a school/university, and a clinical delivery system. This structure arose through happenstance, and the fault lines it creates are increasingly jagged.Continue reading…

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