One of my favorite writers on health care is Atul Gawande. As a doctor, he speaks from his experience within the system, but he is always looking from insights from outside. He is passionate but honest and willing to learn. He combines the knowledge of a doctor, the eye of an anthropologist, the reflectiveness of a philosopher and persuasiveness of a great storyteller.
He is always interesting, even when he is dead wrong, as in his latest article in The New Yorker, Big Medicine, in which he argues that the hierarchical bureaucracy implicit in the kitchens of the Cheesecake Factory [CAKE] represents “our best prospect for change” in health care.
How the Cheesecake Factory is run
Gawande says, “It’s easy to mock places like the Cheesecake Factory—restaurants have brought chain production to complicated sit-down meals”. But with 308 dinner items and 124 beverage choices, along with friendly and reliable service, they provide “three-course fork-and-knife restaurant meals that most people across the country couldn’t previously afford.” Main courses are around fifteen dollars and, according to Gawande, they are, gulp, “delicious.”