Most Interesting People 2010 - Dr. Toby Cosgrove

Dr. Toby Cosgrove
Cleveland Clinic President
and CEO | 69

Why he’s interesting … Biggest employer in town, second biggest medical group in the world, leader in heart surgery: The Cleveland Clinic’s list of accomplishments grows longer each year. As its leader, Cosgrove, a world-renowned cardiac surgeon with more than 22,000 operations under his scalpel, keeps charging forward. The Clinic is in the midst of a 4-million-square-foot expansion and will soon open a facility in the United Arab Emirates. And President Obama popped in for a discussion on health care in July.

What Obama learned … The Clinic is organized differently than most places. “We are all salary with no financial incentives. There is no tenure. We all have one-year contracts.”

His personal health challenge … “It’s always getting enough exercise.”

Workout of choice … The elliptical

The hardest part of the job … “Communicating from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi and from Canada to Florida with 40,000 people and getting the message across”

On business in Abu Dhabi … “It’s a big cultural difference. The patients expect to just walk in any time and be seen with no appointment.”

First step to control health care costs … Get control of the “epidemic of self-destruction” in America, including smoking and obesity

Health care prediction … “We’re going to get something uniquely American. I don’t think we’ll be able to copy any of the Western European countries. I don’t think the American public would stand for it.”

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