On Leading a Clinical Department
A Guide for Physicians
"There are universal truths about chairing a department of medicine, and in this remarkably insightful book, Fritts has covered most of them. Moreover, he obviously did a good deal of thinking about what a chair does and how he or she does it. Whether the subject is undergraduate (medical student) education, curriculum construction, house staff training, biomedical research, departmental governance, patient care, community and VA hospital affiliations, departmental relationships with outside organizations, intradepartmental communication, or one of many other topics, the author covers it in a straightforward and easy-to-understand fashion. He also provides some unique insights into the chair's problems and offers some interesting solutions."—Robert G. Petersdorf, M.D., from the foreword
"Many physicians, at one time or another," writes Harry W. Fritts, Jr., M.D., "think they might like to lead a clinical department in a medical school. They know clinical chairs command respect and influence the lives of many people: students, interns, residents, faculty members, and practitioners. Yet few of these physicians have had an opportunity to learn about the day-to-day life of a clinical chair."
In this practical and concise how-to guide for physicians, Fritts describes the most important responsibilities and concerns of clinical department chairs. Fritts begins by explaining how clinical departments are organized. He explores what it means to be a leader or manager, and how to deal with the many conflicting goals of clinical departments. He discusses projects and planning; committees and democracy; managing money; departmental quality and departmental reviews; and legal issues. Throughout, Fritts draws on the wisdom of ideas and thinkers ranging from Peter Drucker to René Descartes, from W. Edwards Deming's "total quality management" to Machiavelli's The Prince. This book will be of interest to medical department faculty, physicians, and medical students.
About the Author
Harry W. Fritts, Jr., M.D., is professor and chair emeritus in the Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook.
This book, written by Professor and Chair Emeritus of the Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook, talks about the day-to-day work of a clinical chair. In 196 pages of ideas based on personal experiences, ancient and modern philosophers, management experts, and others, Fritts discusses the decisions, problems, duties, and issues the face each clinical chair. He is partial to Machiavelli's The Prince for making analogies, and in the preface, Fritts states that '.. The Prince is the finest guide ever written for the chair of a clinical department, or, for that matter, a chair of anything. The book is 'written for nonchairs at all levels' (preface), but anyone working in a medical school environment is likely to enjoy, and benefit from reading it.
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