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An exploration of medical director identity and performativity in the UK National Health System Megan Joffe Kate Mackenzie Davey.

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Presentation on theme: "An exploration of medical director identity and performativity in the UK National Health System Megan Joffe Kate Mackenzie Davey."— Presentation transcript:

1 An exploration of medical director identity and performativity in the UK National Health System Megan Joffe Kate Mackenzie Davey

2 Who/what are medical directors (MD)? Medical manager: Hybrid or boundary spanning role MDs are senior most medical manager in the hospital Has a seat on the hospital board Strategic responsibility Usually – a 3/5 year tenure – Remain practising clinicians although a few are full-time managers – Some have managerial training and most have some management experience as Clinical Director (operational responsibility for a medical specialty or division) – No formal training/qualification available

3 Identity Who I am? = IDENTITY What I am? = ROLE How do I experience my identity when I have 2 powerful identities (doctor and manager) supposedly integrated in to 1 hybrid identity?

4 Qualitative Research Research Questions 1.How do medical directors construct managerial identity in general? 2.How do medical directors resist the negative implications of management? 3.How do medical directors account for their own managerial identity? Methodology Twenty, 90 minute interviews, with incumbent Acute Trust Medical Directors plus 5 ex Medical Directors over the course of 2005 - 2008 Theoretical base Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1985) Performative identity (Butler, 1999) Power (Foucault, 1978, 1985)

5 The managerial context of health Management and medicine have been in a struggle for power almost since the inception of the NHS Much political and ideological capital is situated in the NHS History: 1948 – 1980s: Management = Administration – Consensus management/medical autonomy 1979 onwards: Started engaging doctors in management – Managerial performance indicators/audit/resource management 1983: General Management (Griffiths Report) – Budget control/managers given legitimate power/consumer opinion 1989: Quasi market principles (Working for Patients) – Purchaser-provider split/Trust Hospitals with Executive Board incl Medical Directors 1997: New Public Management (The New NHS: Modern, Dependable) – Scientific-bureaucratic model: targets – Competitive tendering and accountability: efficiency and effectiveness – Interdisciplinary and inter-agency working (e.g. MDTs, NICE, HCC etc) 2011: GP Commissioning (Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS) – Competition/patients and consultants decision making

6 Findings (1): The construction of management in general Constructed from the perspective of doctors & their own perspective as a doctor Negative construction of management mirroring that of doctors (and others of managers in the NHS) Specifically: Managers are constraining and controlling Managers are removed from the shop floor Managers are aligned against employees Managers are intellectually inferior and incapable of managing doctors Management is a waste Management is risky

7 Findings (2): Clinical credibility Clinical credibility is the source of managerial credibility Clinical credibility is key to understanding doctors and operational problems Clinical credibility is core to my relationships with my clinical colleagues Clinical credibility is a reliable source of feedback Clinical credibility means I remain a member of the medical tribe BUT IT IS CONTESTED Idiosyncratic contracts with varying amounts of clinical work Some do no clinical work No actual evidence – you are a black sheep anyway Some evidence that you simply need to be a people person

8 Findings (3): Medical Directors construction of their own managerial identity Constructed from their own perspective (my view is..) Positive construction except for collegial relationships Specifically: Management is stimulating and creative Management is challenging and fulfilling Management is influencing and improving Collegial relationships – Relationships with colleagues in difficulty – The medical director as headmaster I am always a doctor

9 Conclusions 1.Medical identity is robust and magnetic 2.MDs use medical identity to resist being seen as managerial and assert their difference from other managers 3.Managerial credibility is predicated on clinical credibility rather than on managerial experience and expertise 4.Clinical credibility is a source of resistance to being fully colonised by management and is central to doctors retaining control over their work and their separation from management 5.The ambiguity of the role of MD makes it difficult 6.Medical management is seen as difficult compared to clinical work Its downtime... Its really relaxing... Easy! Work hard. Do your best. Be nice to people... And actually when Im doing a day in ICU I think: Actually this is a doddle compared to what Im doing in the other bit of the job... like walking into a Jacuzzi. Its relaxing. This is my environment. I am very happy to be here Whereas clinical work is rather more stereotyped, so typically my speciality which is clinic based, it would be back to doing repeated large numbers of clinics probably. And, I do think even now what that would feel like to go back to after such a rich experience as medical director

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