The Empowered Physician Leader

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by Rand O’Leary

Today’s healthcare environment is shifting at an ever-increasing pace. The transition to community health focused care is both daunting and challenging for most organizations.  Now, more than ever physician leadership can play a crucial and important role. 

Setup Your Physician Leaders for Success 

Before we begin, it’s foundational to understand how physicians view leadership.  Physicians are trained to work independently, they value their autonomy and can be reluctant to delegate authority.  All good qualities if you’re the patient.  My colleague once said me, “these trauma surgeons are sure difficult to work with.”  My response, “Of course they are. They are trained to take charge, assess situations quickly and be right, every single time.  And If I’m critically injured, that’s who I want taking care of me.” But yes, when we ask them to take on the mantle of administrative leaders, they need our help. 

As an administrative leader, physicians are asked to develop and approve policy, drive change, and execute on plans developed by teams of other leaders.  They are also asked to advocate for their position and work much more through influence than they are accustomed to in their clinical practices. In most, if not all cases, this is a new learning experience for the physician who is accustomed to leading in the clinical environment.   Read Full Article.