Already In Mid-Revolution: MD Anderson Is Halfway Home

Already In Mid-Revolution: MD Anderson Is Halfway Home


Leonard Zwelling

         Many people, including my kids, are wondering why I am not more depressed about the results of the election and the subsequent appointees to the Trump Administration.

         It’s pretty much what I say every birthday while complaining that something else is hurting. Consider the alternative.

         The alternative to the Trump victory was an armed revolution in the streets of Omaha and Cleveland and Flint because the government had been ignoring the plight of the American middle class since LBJ was in the White House. While the progress in civil rights, the ever-expanding diversity of the citizenry, and the tolerance for people who are not white males are all good things for the United States, the backbone of the country was feeling left out. No longer. If as one, the red states, including ones that were previously blue, rose and said collectively, “ENOUGH!” We are Americans, too and we are not happy with the government. As they voted for Reagan and Clinton and Bush and Obama, these critical middle of the road, peaceful Americans upended the country without firing a shot. Good for them!

         Make no mistake, Mr. Trump’s victory was every bit as much a repudiation of Republican governance as it was of Democratic governance. Both parties have spent too much, expanded costly wars, watched as college tuition slipped away from many Americans looking to rise in the class structure while bridges and tunnels and airports rotted from neglect. The people have spoken. We shall see if Mr. Trump has heard. As a letter to the Wall Street Journal said, “coastal America, can you hear me now?”

         So I believe that Mr. Trump’s election is a lot better than an armed insurrection and thus I am not depressed.

         I also believe the precise same thing is happening at MD Anderson and it is vexing the putative experts there (the executive team) as much as the Trump victory vexed the pundits in the media and the pollsters. How is MD Anderson rebelling?

         The clinicians are simply not going to save the cookies of the executives who overspent and over hired with only about 5% of the total workforce capable of contributing to the margin—the clinicians. The clinicians are just going to do what they need to. They are not going to see the extra patient. They are not going to expand the templates and they are not going to order inappropriate lab tests simply to boost the revenue of the institution. What Dr. DePinho and the Friends of Ron D are up against is a velvet revolution. It is quiet and there will be no violence, but the FORDs will never be able to encourage the faculty to put down their antipathy and kick it up to another gear. For the MD Anderson faculty, that’s revolutionary.

         So be of good cheer. There is no way that Mr. Trump’s election is not better than a revolt and there is no reason to believe that the clinicians of MD Anderson are going to save the jobs of the executive team. All is well on Pennsylvania Avenue and on Holcombe. Be patient. We are halfway there.

2 thoughts on “Already In Mid-Revolution: MD Anderson Is Halfway Home”

  1. It is highly doubtful that Trump will do anything to improve the lives of those who voted for him, so they are bound to be disillusioned. The question is who will step up to address the economic inequality that is destroying this country? Let's hope someone does before the revolution turns violent.

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