An expanded leadership role for doctors can be a key driver for transforming the needs of healthcare but both health facilities and physicians must contribute to make a new model work.
Jason Petros, a consultant at healthcare C-suite recruitment firm Witt/ Keiffer said that leadership needs physicians who can put their egos to the side in order to cooperate with the C-suite and board members effectively.
In an interview with FierceHealthcare, Petros said that doctors need to break free from a widely-held view that a doctor is “a great team leader but not a great team player”. Petros describes the ideal physician leader for the way forward as being a “player-coach” instead.
In high-stress situations, the majority of executives will revert to their baseline leadership style and familiar strategies in order to cope. In the case of doctors, this usually means a style of leadership that is autocratic. This does not work in the C-suite says Petros.
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But, he adds, positive change is not just down to physicians. Senior hospital administrators need to empower and engage doctors as well.
“Physician engagement doesn’t mean ‘thank you for your opinion, we’re going to put it in the circular file,’” he says. “What we’re really talking about is empowering physicians to sit at the highest levels of the organisation as they’re making decisions related to clinical care delivery.”
With population health and care quality intrinsic to the sector’s direction, both offer physicians leaders an opportunity to shine. Petros says that there is nobody better equipped to engage doctors than a physician executive. It goes way beyond the CEO level, he adds. “Healthcare leaders must think about physician leaders throughout the C-suite. I would challenge boards to think a couple levels down in terms of succession planning, particularly as it relates to physicians.”
Source: FierceHealthCareImage Credit: mitre.org