Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Rick Johnson, for HealthLeaders Media , August 23, 2007

Just about everything I write gets posted on I never know who in the world is going to read my articles--or respond. Not long ago, I received an e-mail from a hospital CEO in Gurgaon, India, and I thought it was fascinating that this physician executive in another part of the world could relate to an article I wrote about trends in healthcare marketing.

More recently, a reader commented on my photo in this newsletter, saying that I seem to have an "unusual haircut." I found the e-mail rather humorous and explained to the reader that facing imminent baldness, I shave my head every couple of weeks. One benefit to my hairstyle--or lack thereof--is that despite life's frustrations, I cannot pull my hair out.

This inspired me to ask some of my physician friends about the top issues that make physician leaders want to pull out their hair. I'm sure the five items below are not exhaustive, so feel free to let me know what you'd add to the list.

Five things that make physician leaders want to pull out their hair:

5. Case managers who are more like bean counters put on Earth to make money for the hospital.
4. Doctors who moan and complain in the doctors' lounge, but are like sheep when it comes to speaking up and facing challenges.
3. Personal injury lawyers (enough said).
2. Nurses who engage mouth before brain.
1. Hospital administrators who put numbers first and patients second.

In future issues of PhysicianLeaders, we'll explore how to deal with the issues above and much more. As always, I'm happy to get letters from readers, especially about the business of healthcare--but for now you can keep the hairstyle and fashion tips to yourselves.

Rick Johnson is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media. He can be reached at

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