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Operations Management and Information Systems (OMIS), Schulich School of Business, York University


Raha Imanirad, Ph.D. candidate

in Seminar on

Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 11:30am-12:30pm

W356 Seymour Schulich Building

Do Physicians Influence One Another’s Performance?

Evidence from the Emergency Department


Understanding potential channels through which physicians impact one another’s performance can yield new insights into better management of hospitals’ operations. We use evidence from Emergency Medicine to study whether and how physicians who work during the same shifts affect one another’s performance. We find strong empirical evidence that physicians affect one another’s speed and quality in our setting. Specifically, our results show that a faster (slower) peer decreases (increases) the average speed of a focal physician compared to a same-speed peer. Similarly, we find that a higher- (lower-) quality peer decreases (increases) a focal physician’s average quality. Furthermore, the presence of a less-experienced peer is shown to improve a focal physician’s average speed. However, in contrast to conventional wisdom, we do not find any evidence that more-experienced physicians influence the performance of their less-experienced peers. We identify resource spillover from peers’ utilization of shared resources as the main driver of the observed effects and show that during high-volume shifts (i.e., when the shared resources are most constrained), the magnitude of the effects increases. We draw conclusions from our results and discuss how they can be utilized by hospital administrators to improve the overall performance of physicians via better scheduling patterns and/or training programs that require physicians to work together during the same shifts.



Raha Imanirad, a Schulich Alum, is currently a doctoral candidate in the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, MA, USA.  Her areas of specialization include Data Envelopment Analysis, Healthcare Operations Management, Service Operations Management.

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