To underscore the significance of international health care management, we focus on three themes: the problem of global blindness; global health care challenges and opportunities; and learning from international health care management. The problem of global blindness highlights how health care managers' inattentional blindness to competitors' operational performance and market strategies lead to avoidable and expensive failures. To address global challenges and opportunities, health care organizations are employing two different strategies: (1) building and marketing a world-class health care facility internationally, and (2) organizing and integrating multinational health care operations. The first strategy exploits the medical-tourism market. The second strategy requires either multinational health care networks or transnational health care organizations. One of the lessons to be learned from international health care management is that an organization can create a meta-national competitive advantage. Another lesson is that by examining best practices from around the world, health care organizations can obtain new insights and become more innovative within their home markets. A corollary and third lesson is that while health care organizations can learn a great deal from examining international best clinical practices, sometimes the most important management lessons are lost in clinical translations. The fourth and last lesson is that worst cases - serious international management failures - offer perhaps the most valuable insights into the role of culture, complexity, and leadership for health care organizations. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.