Donald Trump-esque personalities a mixed blessing for hospitals

Donald Trump's presidential candidacy and its implications for politics have generated buzz for nearly a year, but like other small-screen bosses, the former reality show host's ascendance in Republican polls contain lessons for healthcare leadership as well, argues a MedPageToday blog post.

Most hospitals have "Trump personalities" on their staff, writes Suneel Dhand, an internal medicine physician and founder of the health information technology firm HealthIT Improve--brash, larger-than-life people who are not beholden to administrators. Often in private practice, healthcare leaders have trouble maintaining control over them.

While this may lead them to butt heads with executives, such physicians can be extremely popular with both patients and lower-level staff--much like Trump remains popular with his party's voters even as he alienates its leaders.

Indeed, healthcare leaders with similarly strong personalities have a mixed track record. One study found that while it's better for a hospital leader to be moderately narcissistic than insecure, such personality traits in excess can lead to abuse of power, FierceHealthcare previously reported.  

Speakers at the annual American College of Healthcare Executives Congress in Chicago this week said the best physician leaders communicate well, are adaptable, are fast learners, and have strong problem-solving skills with a focus on results. They also have a high degree of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, patience and humility, Brian Lipman, M.D., president of the ProHealth Care Medical Group in Wisconsin, and Andrew Ziskind, M.D., managing director of Huron Consulting Group, told attendees. 

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