Socialism 101 Again

In my previous post Socialism 101 ( ), I left a link to the Virginia Mason Medical Center Blog, on which I tried to post a comment regarding a couple of their blog entries. I cannot find my comment on their blog, so I decided to record it here. First, go to the Virginia Mason Medical Center Blog and read the following two parts:



In the first, you will find the “Virginia Mason Strategic Pyramid” and, in the second, the text, “Being very clear about what it means for a physician to be a citizen of Virginia Mason is really the crux of it,” says Dr. Lammert, to both of which I referred in my comment.

You can also see their stragecic pyramid here:


The following is my comment, which I cannot find on their blog:

Your pyramid is politically correct rhetoric, which conceals the poison of what I believe you are trying to do: Hobble the spontaneous functioning of the doctorpatient relationship. The top of your pyramid is just wrong! Patients are not the top of the pyramid of health care. Rather the doctorpatient relationship functioning in a sound, ongoing, spontaneous, and non-conflicted manner is the top of that pyramid. The work defined by the clinical decision making, which evolves from the mutual trust between the doctor and patient, is what needs to be accomplished.
I note the following words from a previous post on your blog: “Being very clear about what it means for a physician to be a citizen of Virginia Mason is really the crux of it, says” Dr. Lammert. The definition of the word, citizen: a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized (The New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1998). So, doctors are the subjects of the state known as Virginia Mason. It’s a bit grandiose, don’t you think? Sounds like Socialism 101.

I understand now why you have placed Virginia Mason Production System as the base of the pyramid. Instead of recognizing reality, which is that Virginia Mason is just one of thousands of medical centers employing millions of people to help accomplish the work defined by the decision making which occurs within the framework of doctorpatient relationships, you place yourself as the very foundation of health care and view doctors as citizens of your state. It’s a load of crap.

R. Garth Kirkwood, MD

I wonder why they didn’t post my comment. Maybe, they can’t handle criticism, which demonstrates the poison of their rhetoric. Of course, let’s not let the medicine of medicine interfere with the business of medicine in this non profit business fiefdom, which records revenue of more than 804 million dollars in their annual report of 2009, and more than 836 million dollars for 2010

R. Garth Kirkwood, MD


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