Medicare vs. Patient Care

i_love_medicare_stickerConference participants wore ‘I Love Medicare’ pins in Calgary.

Nietzsche might ask

Do you love medicare because patients benefit, or do you love medicare because you benefit?

Do you love ‘free care’ more than patient care?

People can care more about the idea of universal health care than they do about the care patients receive.

They deny data showing

long waits

poor patient outcomes

lack of access

lack of coordination

high cost


lack of control

provider frustration

Their solutions focus on

more control

more funding

more rationing

more cuts to salaries > 100k

more patient education to divert access

They would rather fight for a failed system than fight for improved patient care.


n. An arrogant, stubborn assertion of opinion or belief

dog-ma-tism n.

1. positiveness in assertion of opinion especially when unwarranted or arrogant

2. a viewpoint or system of ideas based on insufficiently examined premises

Medicare dogmatism will guarantee mediocrity at best.

We need a system that:

puts patients’ needs first

makes patient experience central to funding

gives patients great access

offers patient choice

guarantees quality care (Quality should be a given)

demonstrates business excellence

attracts the best leaders

rewards great outcomes; not mediocrity

aligns incentives for every provider

rewards grass-roots provider innovation

gives control to health-care experts

This can happen in a publicly funded system, but it will never happen if people resist change.

We need to stop thinking that health-care is so special, complicated and unchangeable.

Do we love medicare more than patient care? Can we have an adult conversation about change?  What do you think?

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Personality Conflict: An Excuse Great Leaders Never Use

Sibling RivalryDon’t ever:

Tell someone complaining of chest and upper abdominal pain: “It’s just gas.”

Tell someone feeling short of breath: “It’s just anxiety.”

Dismiss workplace conflict with: “It’s just a personality conflict.”

Carl Jung first wrote about personalities and conflicting opposite types.  The famous Myers-Brigg’s personality test uses pairs of opposites:





But the concept of conflict gets twisted to explain all persistent conflict between two people.  Why do we think personality conflict can explain so much?

Did Churchill and Hitler have a personality conflict?

Are personality conflicts holding back world peace?

Dr. Russel Watson says personality conflicts are not the true source of conflict in the work place.  He describes personality:

“The word itself is complex…unique constellation of one’s consistent behavioural tendencies…Terms used instead of ‘personality’ include: type; behavioural style; preferences; traits; and temperament, among others…closely describe work behaviours…how one does their job, or goes about their normal day-to-day activities.”

Instead of personality conflicts, Watson suggests that we fight over value conflicts:  differences in ideology.

“While behavioural style describes how one does their job, Values illuminate why one does their job, ie, their wins, drives, and rushes as they perform their duties.”

Lencioni tells us to ‘mine for ideological conflict‘ in his book, “Death by Meeting”.  He says we need to debate how our ideas differ or meetings are a waste of time.

Wrestling with conflicting ideas and values seems odd to a post-modern leader.  Post-moderns put weight on opinion, context and environment; everyone’s opinions are equally valid; you just have to be tolerant and get along.  We’ll dig into this in another post.

Do you find yourself relying on ‘personality conflict’ to explain difference of opinion?  Are you avoiding the hard work of digging into the real issues? I’d love to hear what you think by clicking Leave a Reply or # of Replies below.  Thanks!

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