David Oliver: Why aren’t more doctors NHS chief executives? – BMJ

Last month, Susan Gilby joined a small band of doctor CEOs in the NHS acute sector when she was confirmed as chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital.1 Other names on this small list include Jackie Bene at Bolton,2 Marcel Levi at University College,3 David Rosser in Birmingham,4 and Tim Orchard at Imperial College.5 Their CVs make interesting case studies. Even executive medical directors rarely make the jump to CEO. We see more doctor CEOs outside the hospital sector, but it’s still a small minority. NHS Providers found that only a third of NHS CEOs had clinical qualifications, 63% of whom trained as nurses, but only 19% as medical doctors and 15% as pharmacists or allied health professionals.6

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