50 Most Influential Clinical Executives
Professor and interim chairman, Department of Medicine,
University of California at San Francisco
As an enthusiastic challenger of the status quo, Dr. Robert Wachter, 58, has been shaking things up in the healthcare industry for just over two decades. He has delved into prickly policy concerns and elucidated the hidden ways in which the healthcare system harms patients. His charismatic persona, including a willingness to dress in costume, has helped spark conversations on these difficult topics. Wachter was an innovator behind the hospitalist movement in the mid-1990s, which completely revamped existing concepts of patient-care management. In his recent book, The Digital Doctor, he warns that hype over medical technology could cause 'an El Ni'o of electronic despair and anxiety.' Besides being a professor and interim chair of the University of California at San Francisco department of medicine, where he directs the hospital medicine division, Wachter is also a patient-safety leader, public speaker, blogger and Bruce Springsteen fan.