3 ways to grow as a physician leader

Doctor patient
Doctor greeting a patient.

With the election of Donald J. Trump as the next president, the future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain. It’s in the midst of such uncertainty that the industry needs great physician leadership.

Today, only 5% of the country’s 6,500 hospitals are led by physicians, said (reg. req.) Cheryl Pegus, M.D., director of the division of general internal medicine and clinical innovation at New York University Langone Medical Center in Medscape.

But healthcare facilities are looking to doctors to take on the mantle of leadership. Their skills are needed outside the exam room—and are essential to discussions about clinical outcomes, patient safety, readmissions and transitions of care, she added.

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Here are three ways physicians can add to their leadership toolkit:

  1. Return to the classroom or get a dual degreeWhether doctors enter a formal graduate degree program or secure certifications from organizations such as the American Association for Physician Leadership, heading back to the classroom is a great opportunity to learn about clinical trials, data analytics, predictive modeling, regulation and the best ways to maximize the skills of the entire care team, wrote Pegus.
  2. Focus on team-based care: Successful physician leaders will increasingly need to embrace the notion of having their care team work “with”—rather than “for”—them. That’s why it's so important to communicate to team members that leaders care about them and are open to feedback.
  3. Embrace uncertainty: With a new president in the White House and a Republican-led Congress, it’s impossible to know what changes lie ahead for healthcare. All the more reason that physician leaders need to help their teams navigate through difficult situations.