Should Hospitals be Run by Doctors? Should Law Firms Be Run (only) by Lawyers?

July 7th, 2011

The Times has a piece that queries whether Hospitals should be run by doctors:

The conventional wisdom is that doctors should focus on patient care, and managers with a business or administrative background are better suited to running the day-to-day operations of a hospital. Among the nearly 6,500 hospitals in the United States, only 235 are run by physician administrators, according to a 2009 study in the journal Academic Medicine.

But now new research suggests that having a doctor in charge at the top is connected to overall better patient care and a better hospital.

Let me ask a related question.

Should law firms be run (only) by lawyers? Currently ethical rules prevent non-lawyers from controlling law firms. Is that a good thing? Perhaps better business decisions could be made by non-lawyers. We are already seeing developments in the UK and elsewhere where certain types of legal services can now be performed by non-lawyers. I think we’ll see law firms in America moving in that direction.