The Cleveland Clinic: a distinctive model of American medicine

James K. Stoller


The Cleveland Clinic is a large healthcare system based in Cleveland, Ohio (USA) with an extensive American (throughout Northeast Ohio; Weston, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada) and global presence (in Abu Dhabi, UAE; and with training alumni in >70 countries). Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 as a distinctive medical model with a tripartite mission of “better care of the sick, investigation of their problems, and more teaching of those who serve” which has been vibrantly maintained. Distinctive aspects of the Clinic include its being a closed staff, salaried, group practice which is physician-led and which features 1-year faculty appointments and a vigorous annual review process for all physicians and leaders. Regarding its tripartite mission, the Clinic has demonstrated longstanding clinical excellence, e.g., with consistent ranking as first in cardiovascular care in U.S. News and World Report and top-10 rankings in at least 12 other specialties. A longstanding tradition of research has contributed landmark discoveries, including performance of the first coronary revascularization procedure, the first intra-coronary angiogram, the world’s third face transplant, ongoing development of a breast cancer vaccine, etc. Regarding education, the Clinic serves many educational audiences excellently through its Education Institute. These audiences include medical students, graduate medical trainees, faculty physicians, nurses, and allied health providers (both within the Cleveland Clinic and from other institutions worldwide), and patients. The Education Institute also includes the Cleveland Clinic Academy, which offers training in leadership competencies to physicians, nurses, and healthcare administrators both within the Cleveland Clinic and to visitors from abroad (through the Executive Visitors Program and the Samson Global Leadership Academy for Healthcare Executives). The latter program is an intensive 2-week residential leadership development course for emerging healthcare leaders focusing on both personal leadership competencies and on healthcare system thinking ( Participants from 18 countries have attended to date.