Professionalism Revealed: Rethinking Quality Improvement in the Wake of a Pandemic

J. Michael McWilliams
Submitted: November, 2020

The pace of health care quality improvement in the United States has been slow. After 2 decades of efforts relying largely on quality measurement and performance-linked payment incentives, we need new ideas and new conversations. It may seem self-evident that professionalism in medicine is to be harnessed and not squandered. Yet as we have swung from one extreme to another, from deifying physicians to distrusting them, we may have lost sight of the potential to refine a vital resource. As in health care policy there are only trade-offs, which under uncertainty are akin to gambles.

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