Michael McBride

While the over-staged drama of Congressional hearings will continue to dominate the Walter Reed story for weeks to come, there are some real cautions for our Congress and media before they jump in and help the military “solve” the problems at Walter Reed.

The problem is fairly simple. The staff at Walter Reed was caught derelict in their duties.

I am sure that while Democrat led Congressional hearings, and the bent media coverage find some way to prove that the President planted the black mold in the hospital, they will be missing a couple of points.

Military medicine is BIG medicine. It, combined with VA operations, are enormous “businesses” that are currently not efficiently managed or effectively led. Managing a tentacled behemoth is no small task, and it must be left to professionals…managers, not doctors. These entities should not be “led” by tenured physicians with some weekend MBA. They need to be led by professional and experienced leader/managers. Not efficiency experts, and accounting fanatics, but thoughtful managerial professionals used to leading large, diverse organizations or corporations.

In the case of the military hospitals, they need to be led by experienced line officers that have earned management degrees outside of military channels. This is the same approach that is taken with the variety of military post-graduate schools, including its War Colleges and its variety of specialized degree programs. But these should be line officers, not doctors trying to extend their careers outside of their operating room duties. It would be even better that any facility that handles the combat wounded, be managed by line officers that were themselves, previously wounded.

This new style of hospital leader would be tied to their patients in a way that would ensure, that in the execution of the primary purpose of their existence, these facilities would be hallmarks of excellence, not paragons of medical mediocrity. Be still moaning doctors…you, as with your educational brethren, have had your chance as manager/leaders, and have failed miserably. Now you get to do business the military way; the way in which “leaders” accomplish their missions, or are rightfully relieved of duty.


Michael McBride

Michael E. McBride retired as a Major from the Marine Corps and blogs at http://www.mysandmen.blogspot.com.

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