Physician leadership: Training vital to empower docs

Although most physician leaders say business and financial skills are important components of their jobs, fewer than half have access to formal physician leadership training at their organization, according to a new survey.

Conducted by the Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis and the American Association of Physician Leadership (AAPL), the survey also found that support is growing for increased emphasis on physician leadership training, but structures of such programs vary. 

For instance, one respondent said his or her organization's program pays for education and management training for physicians; another said training consists of meetings with hospital leadership; and a third said the organization offers a series of leadership retreats.

The survey was conducted among 2,398 members of the AAPL.

Physicians are increasingly employed by hospitals and health systems but are not always well-represented in the C-suite. In fact, hospitals often recruit leaders from outside the healthcare sector, especially when seeking financial expertise, even though physician leaders can play a major role in improving clinical outcomes. 

"The survey results demonstrate the timely need to educate and empower physicians as leaders within healthcare organizations," Paul Keckley, Ph.D., managing director at Navigant, said in an announcement. "In order to hold physicians accountable for value-based care, it is imperative to create consistent methodology for managing costs and delivering high-quality care."

Respondents also said that business knowledge is important or very important when:

  • purchasing goods and services for the organization (63 percent) 
  • evaluating risks associated with acquisitions or new businesses (78 percent)
  • understanding finances and access to capital (90 percent) 

To learn more:
- read the survey results (.pdf)
- here's the announcement