Volume 16 - Issue 2, 2016 - Zoom-On

Robert Wachter

Hospitalist,Writer and Professor & Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

What are your key areas of interest and research?

I study complex health policy issues that have direct influence on clinical care. Over my career, these have varied — about every 5-7 years, I seem to find a new issue that I gravitate to.

What are the major challenges in your field?

Healthcare is changing rapidly, driven by greater pressures to delivery high value care (improved quality, safety, patient experience, all at a lower cost). 

What is your top management tip?

Hire the best people, support the hell out of them, try to inspire them, but don't micromanage them.

What would you single out as a career highlight?

I coined the term "hospitalist" 20 years ago, and it grew to be the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. Seeing this play out has been enormously gratifying.

If you had not chosen this career path what do you think you would have become?

I was a political science major in college (as well as being pre-med) and I suspect I would have been a policy analyst, a lawyer, or perhaps a journalist.

What are your personal interests outside of work?

I am a passionate golfer, a decent piano player, and a religious New York Times reader (and a bit of a political junkie). 

Your favourite quote?

Probably Avedis Donabedian, the father of quality measurement, who at the end of his life said, "The secret of quality is love.

The full Zoom On interview with Robert Wachter  and more healthcare IT and radiology leaders can be found in our Blog section

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