From the battlefield to the medical field: Growing physician leaders

Guest post by Mark Hertling, who leads programs for global partnering, leadership, development and health performance strategies at Florida Hospital in Orlando.

Physicians, hospitals and a variety of healthcare organizations are concerned with how we as a nation will address the Triple Aim: improved patient care, access to medical treatment and reduced healthcare costs. America is facing a healthcare challenge, so it would seem an absolute requirement for physicians--those most involved--to be at the forefront, leading the way.

Physicians are the foot soldiers of healthcare; they must shepherd the medical profession, and they have the primary responsibility of improving our nation's health. But unfortunately, doctors are often disconnected from policymaking roles. By necessity, physicians are primarily focused on medical solutions to the critical problems their patients face. But while doctors are on the front line of the tactical battle finding ways to improve care and access for the patient, they are often disconnected from the development of the policies and procedures that result in the strategic decision-making process aimed at improving the healthcare system.

At Florida Hospital, we're bridging this gap through a Physician Leader Development Course. Over the past three years, we have been training physicians, nurse leaders and high-level administrators using a variation of the military's "leadership requirements model." The model centers on who the leader is and what the leader knows (attributes), and then what a leader does (competencies). The military leadership manual breaks down the critical attributes into the three elements of character, presence and intellect. Developing these three essential attributes is key to growing effective leaders.

Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact