Article Text

PDF
In search of excellence
  1. G Hughes
  1. Correspondence to:
 Geoff Hughes
 The Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000, Australia; cchdhb{at}yahoo.com

Statistics from Altmetric.com

In Search Of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman,1 published in 1982, remains one of the biggest selling and most widely read business books ever. It was then, and still is, touted as a seminal text for those trying to improve systems and deliver quality to the public, mainly in the context of business. I was advised to read it on a senior registrar management course I attended in 1989. It’s not a page-turning bodice-ripper. I didn’t finish it. I tried hard.

I mention this because I came across it the other day while perusing the shelves of the hospital library. Later that day I discussed the book with a friend who runs a successful business. He agreed that it is still widely referenced in business and training seminars. He then asked me the killer question “what are you guys [emergency doctors] excellent at?” He followed this up by asking “don’t you refer everything on to specialists?”. I was well behaved and refrained from pouring a jug of water over him.

So, what are we excellent at? By the nature of our work, we are generalists and are …

View Full Text

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.