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The Author: Robert Pearl, MD

Updated: Feb 6

Dr. Robert Pearl is the former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group (1999-2017), the nation’s largest medical group, and former president of The Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (2009-2017). In these roles he led 10,000 physicians, 38,000 staff and was responsible for the nationally recognized medical care of 5 million Kaiser Permanente members on the west and east coasts.

Named one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 most influential physician leaders, Pearl is an advocate for the power of integrated, prepaid, technologically advanced and physician-led healthcare delivery.

He serves as a clinical professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on strategy and leadership, and lectures on information technology and health care policy.

He is the author of “Mistreated: Why We think We’re Getting Good Healthcare—And Why We’re Usually Wrong,” a Washington Post bestseller that offers a roadmap for transforming American healthcare. All proceeds from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

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Dr Pearl hosts the popular podcast Fixing Healthcare, publishes a newsletter with over 10,000 subscribers called Monthly Musings on American Healthcare and is a regular contributor to Forbes. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNBC, NPR, and in TIME, USA Today and Bloomberg News. He has published more than 100 articles in medical journals and contributed to numerous books. A frequent keynote speaker at healthcare and medical technology conferences. Pearl has addressed the Commonwealth Club, the World Healthcare Congress, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Quality Forum.

Board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Pearl received his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University.

From 2012 to 2017, Pearl served as chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), which includes the nation’s largest and best multispecialty medical groups, and participated in the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT in Washington, D.C.

Robert Pearl’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Become the best Doctor you can be. You have to earn the trust that comes from how you treat patients in order to get the respect that you’ll need as a leader of change.

Number 2: Windows open and close. You have to be prepared to jump through them, and you can’t be afraid to take on these leadership roles. There is never a right time in your career, except that that always the right time is now.

Number 3: Please never forget why you became a physician in the first place.

Connect with Robert:

Notable quotes from Robert’s Interview:

It was this notion of the purity of medicine that attracted me to it in the first place…I still have that same love, but I’m not as starry eyed about the lack of politics sitting in the profession of healthcare.
What leaders do is they are able to see something that doesn’t yet exist, get other people to see it, and make it a reality.
In the culture of medicine, we’ve lost this sense of purpose and meaning. It’s become about the money. We’ve lost something in this transition. Some of it’s been done to us, some of it we’ve done to ourselves.
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