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Crisis in Health Care
February 2001

The Health Care Crisis: Impact on Surgery From a Chief Executive Officer's Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara, Calif.

Arch Surg. 2001;136(2):147-150. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.2.147

Kaiser Permanente, in conjunction with the surrounding academic institutions, trains 64 surgical residents annually in Northern California. Although the current health care crisis has made resident education increasingly difficult, we are committed to maintaining and expanding our programs. The current health care crisis reflects the effect that for-profit health plans, hospitals, and pharmaceutical groups have had on medicine. Their negative impact has not been simply the extraction of resources from the delivery system to their equity shareholders, but the implementation of an authorization process designed to frustrate and deny. As executive director and chief executive officer of the Permanente Medical Group, I believe that resident training allows us to attract outstanding clinicians, train the physicians of the future, and improve the clinical care of our patients. The multispecialty nature of our medical group and our size allows us to work collaboratively, offer evidence-based approaches, preserve professional independence, and implement innovative programs to increase quality and service. Although it is uncertain how health care will evolve in the future, we at Kaiser Permanente are committed to maintaining and expanding our involvement in the education of the next generation of surgeons.

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