One of our own gets the star treatment. Big Time.

By  |  March 29, 2016 | 


As is custom nowadays, if you read a profile about any prominent public servant, you finish the article and feel a tad icky. Sometimes, however, the stars line up, and a story renews our faith in who is doing ours, the people’s business in DC. In this case, it’s one of our own.

Most of you know Patrick Conway, the chief medical officer at CMS–one of his many roles there–as a hospitalist and frequent speaker at SHM. He also happens to be a humble, soft-spoken and delightful guy. He sees patients, still, and also has the gift of observation and the power to listen to folks, a rare offerings nowadays. In my neck of the woods, we call that a mensch.

He gets a terrific portrait in The New York Times today, and I encourage all of you to read it. Here’s the quote I found most descriptive (and an easy one to gloss over):

In 2007, during the Bush administration, he came to Washington as a White House fellow and worked for Michael O. Leavitt, who was then the secretary of health and human services. “I have no idea whether Patrick is a Republican or a Democrat,” Mr. Leavitt said. “He came to government not for politics, but for policy.” Voter registration records list the doctor as unaffiliated with any political party.

That from a polarized town whose notables  have a shelf life as short as warm milk. You have got to be exceptional to survive.  And survive (and thrived) he has.  So go read.



Leave A Comment

About the Author:

Brad Flansbaum
Bradley Flansbaum, DO, MPH, MHM works for Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA in both the divisions of hospital medicine and population health. He began working as a hospitalist in 1996, at the inception of the hospital medicine movement. He is a founding member of the Society of Hospital Medicine and served as a board member and officer. He speaks nationally in promoting hospital medicine and has presented at many statewide meetings and conferences. He is also actively involved in house staff education. Currently, he serves on the SHM Public Policy Committee and has an interest in payment policy, healthcare market competition, health disparities, cost-effectiveness analysis, and pain and palliative care. He is SHM’s delegate for the AMA House of Delegates. Dr. Flansbaum received his undergraduate degree from Union College in Schenectady, NY and attended medical school at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. He received his M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is a political junky, and loves to cook, stay fit, read non-fiction, listen to many genres of music, and is a resident of Danville, PA.


Related Posts

By  | July 11, 2018 |  3
In my previous post, I discussed the challenges associated with measuring hospitalists’ patient satisfaction scores. I noted that CMS never designed the HCAHPS survey to evaluate the performance of individual providers or groups; it is only valid for assessing hospital-level performance related to patients’ experience of care. I also reviewed some structural impediments that likely […]
By  | May 11, 2018 |  0
There have certainly been numerous articles, periodicals, missives, messages, courses and LinkedIn articles about the importance of strong leadership. I myself have blogged that most “challenges” in hospital medicine could likely be solved with strong leadership and adequate staffing. But recently I gave a talk with Sarah Apgar from UCSF on differences in supervision and […]
By  | April 23, 2018 |  0
“You can teach a canary in a coal mine to meditate, but it is still going to die.” I have seen this canary sentiment as a metaphor for health care and burnout pop up a few times on Twitter recently, attributed to a couple different thoughtful doctors, including Dr. Jenny Ramsey (at Hospital Medicine 2018), […]