Docs vs MBAs

In a Florida operating room … there’s an anesthesiologist alternating with a nurse anesthetist, an X-ray technician and a circulating nurse; … there’s the surgeon, a middle-aged orthopedist who has never performed this type of operation before.  And, at the foot of the operating table, there’s Chuck Bates, a guy who studied biology in college. … Come up one centimeter and make your incision there, Bates tells the surgeon. …

The job wholesaling hot dogs enabled Bates to get an MBA … which led to employment with Kyphon, a manufacturer of medical devices.  … Bates was the salesman in the operating room. … Sales representatives … in operating rooms … serve as simple reminders that medicine is a business, with all the potential that entails to promote efficiency, boost sales and extract profit.  But should they be there at all?  In an age of rapidly proliferating technologies, the salesmen may know more about their products than the doctors who use them do. … They speed procedures along, making time for more. …

Many medical devices could not be used — or used safely — without sales reps. … Richmond gynecologist Catherine A. Matthews said that’s a frightening argument.  “They’re not in any way motivated to recommend what might be the best thing for the patient,” Matthews said. “They’re there to sell their product.”  Doctors shouldn’t have to depend on reps for expertise, she added. … The presence of the salesman in the operating room has long raised concerns that it can put the interests of manufacturers before those of patients.

More here.  Can’t you feel the shame?  You pick a prestigious doctor to solve your problem, and instead he’s taking orders from some lowly MBA!  Horrors.  Such low status folks might, gasp, recommend things to make money, not like surgeons, who are far too high status and “professional” to care about such lowly things as money.  Riiiight.

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