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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Monday, August 17, 2009
    Team Bonding! Or, We're Totally in Dilbert Territory Now

    I have great admiration for my boss in many ways. He has overseen The Firm from its small beginning with just a few doctors to its current status as one of the largest medical groups in L.A. His schmoozing skills are unparalleled - make no mistake, this is a major asset and one I wish I possessed. And he believes in the value of corporate culture, which has kept us together and going strong for lo these many years.

    Having said that, he's come up with some mighty hairbrained ideas in his time and he has just emailed us the latest of such. He wants us all to do Myers-Briggs personality testing prior to the next corporate retreat.

    Yes. Personality testing. I can see where this might be relevant if he were dealing with a group of managers, but I don't really see the point when applied to physicians. Granted, diplomacy and tact are relevant when it comes to running a practice but doctors are trained to treat patients, not to herd cats. When it comes to running a practice you find the rhythm that works for you and stick to it. I'd say also, at least in our group, that the physicians who don't like how we do things self-select and leave. That doesn't mean they aren't good doctors or that we had horrible disagreements; it just means the group practice model didn't work for them. And I admire them for realizing this and striking out on their own.

    I guess what I'm really asking is, what is this supposed to accomplish? And my answer is not a lot. The docs who are talented holy terrors (and we have a few) already know this. Those of us who are eclectic (not to say eccentric) already know that. No matter what my Myers-Briggs results show, I don't see that they would change my practice style any... I've been doing this for sixteen years.

    V. sent me a succinct email after we got the news: "OMG!!!" I responded as follows:

    I seem to recall during our mandated pain management training that there was a chapter on Myers-Briggs which included the results for serial killers like Ted Bundy. I think I may go look up those results and copy them onto my test… ought to be good for a laugh.

    It's a delicious thought, but I want to keep my job. I thought better of it.

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