Thursday, March 22, 2012

Resistance is Futile?

It's not that I don't like the idea of it. I envision roaming tribes of doctors scattered amongst hospital floors rounding on patients. Everyone is polite, all opinions are counted, and decisions are made by consensus. Medical care is exact and parsimonious. The economy is saved and we all live happily ever after. Why not?

Group think has already solved all our problems. Look at congress! We don't need a conductor to lead the orchestra-we need a bunch of conductors. Why have a commander in chief when you can have a think tank instead? In fact, haven't most of the great inventions and discoveries throughout history come from the collective? Let me think: the light bulb, the telephone, penicillin. And haven't the great artistic and musical accomplishments of the last few centuries been produced by groups and not individuals?

So the next time my pager wakes me up in the middle of the night to report on my chf'er becoming hypotensive, I'll conference in the cardiologist, intensivist, and nephrologist and we'll make a decision. Although, most likely I will be the only one on the phone who actually knows the patient. I'll probably get some hodge podge of call coverage with bleary eyed specialists.

No. In reality, the road to expertism is a lonely one. Each individuals pathway to mastery is unique. We all develop our own off centered approach to that which we are good at. This is what separates the brilliant from mediocre. Attempts to sublimate such instincts to the group can only lead to bland homogenization.

The policy wonks have lost themselves in an orgy of false hope. Joining the Borg is not the answer. Collaboration is important, but won't solve all our problems.

Sometimes, the orchestra just needs a conductor.

1 comment:

Arafat said...

Too many cooks spoil the broth... Got it!