Introducing Dr. Les Muda: The World’s First Lean Healthcare Comedian


In today's post, I'm happy to introduce Dr. Les Muda, the World's First Lean Healthcare Comedian. First and perhaps the last.

Dr. Muda sent me an audition tape after his experience at last week's successful Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit. As we chatted, we both agreed that the Summit was great… but what it lacked was a professional stand up comedian. He reinforced this by pointing out how groan-worthy my “give peas a chance” quip was during the CEO panel (more on that tomorrow). Fair enough.

Dr. Muda would like to be an “opening act” for the 2012 Summit, dates and location TBD. He hopes it is in a city with a good standup comedy scene. Here is his tape:

From his bio:

Les Muda, MD FACHE FART FACP  helps heal patients with the healing power of laughter – that and a large toolbox full of orthopedic surgery instruments.  After graduating from Hartford Medical School, the Ohio College of Clown Arts, and the improv studies program at the Second City (Kankakee extension campus), Dr. Muda has practiced for the last 30 years within the Kaizen Continuente health system near Las Vegas. Dr. Muda occasionally performs as an opening act at numerous casino show rooms and as a featured performer at the Funny Bone in Boulder City, NV. Dr. Muda asks that you not make cheap jokes about an orthopedic surgeon performing at the Funny Bone. He has heard it before. His time is valuable.

Graced with a soaring intellect and world-class humility, Dr. Muda has never once forgotten a joke, let he still uses checklists to prevent surgical errors and to prepare for his standup act, including his upcoming 4-city tour of Manitoba. He was host of a TV pilot called “So You Think You Can Operate?” that might still be picked up as a mid-season replacement on NBC and he is also pitching the show “Hospital Nightmares” to Gordon Ramsay and FOX.

Dr. Muda has four unflinching Toyota-based principles in his act and his life: perfect quality, continuos improvement and respect for humor.

If you have questions for Dr. Muda, feel free to post them here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @DoctorMuda. He says if you have Lean jokes that he can shamelessly steal, email him at

I hope we'll hear more from him – and that he continues kaizen-ing his act. “Every day, a little funnier,” he says.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Thanks for your support everyone! I will continuing kaizening my act the way I keep improving my surgical outcomes…

    I killed last night during my stand up set at The Funny Bone. Better than killing in the operating room tomorrow.

  2. Hilarious, Les! Although, I thought your patient might have enjoyed your jokes more if he was sitting upright. But then, perhaps the jokes come before “allow your patient to sit up” on your checklist ;-)

    • The O.R. was supposed to be available for my audition tape recording, but you know how things run behind in the O.R. The nurses were about to come back in to bring the patient out of there, but I think they were afraid to interrupt me, traditional medical hierarchies and all. Still trying to change that culture.


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