Developing Physician-Leaders: A Call to Action
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- Stoller, J.K. J GEN INTERN MED (2009) 24: 876. doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1007-8
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The many challenges in health care today create a special need for great leadership. However, traditional criteria for physicians’ advancement to leadership positions often regard academic and/or clinical accomplishments rather than the distinctive competencies needed to lead. Furthermore, physicians’ training can handicap their developing leadership skills. In this context, an emerging trend is for health-care institutions to offer physician-leadership programs.
Methods and Results
This paper reviews the rationale for developing physician-leaders. Factors that underscore this need include: (1) physicians may lack inclinations to collaborate and to follow, (2) health-care organizations pose challenging environments in which to lead (e.g., because of silo-based structures, etc.), (3) traditional criteria for advancement in medicine regard clinical and/or academic skills rather than leadership competencies, and (4) little attention is currently given to training physicians regarding leadership competencies.
Definition of these competencies of ideal physician-leaders will inform the curricula and format of emerging physician leadership development programs.