Why Help Develop Physicians as Healthcare executives and Leaders?

Why Help Develop Physicians as Healthcare executives and Leaders?       

  1. Why develop physician leaders?
  2. What are some of the issues in their development?
  3. How do we develop physicians as executives and leaders?
  4. Why is coaching an answer?
  5. “An effective teamwork is now globally recognized as an essential tool for constructing a more effective and patient-centered health care delivery system.” (Babiker et al, 2014)
  6. Modern health care and its rapidly evolving complexity is the driving force behind the transition of health care providers’ from being soloists to team members who share a common aim. (Micthell et al, 2012.)
  7. Why develop physician leaders and communicators? ((van de Riet et al, 2019, Rotenstein, Sadun & Jena, 2018, Satiani & Prakash, 2016)
  8. Better patient outcomes
  9. Decreased mortality
  10. Increased financial rewards to the organization
  11. Decreased rates of burnout
  12. Healthier physicians
  13. Improved quality of care
  14. Enhanced patient safety

What physicians/Literature say

  • In 2018, Kane and Cyr surveyed physicians who identified the following as important competencies for them in their roles as managers and leaders:
    • Financial literacy
    • Strategic thinking
    • Change leadership
    • Organizational awareness
    • Analytic thinking
    • Collaboration
    • Communication
    • Self-development
    • Project management
    • Performance management
  • The two major skills that are important are interpersonal literacy and system literacy. (HBR, 2018)
    • The second literacy, system literacy, helps physicians understand the business of healthcare organizations with topics related to insurance structure costs and patient encounters.
    • More and more of the physicians’ responsibilities are on understanding and acting on safety and quality principles.
    • Last but not least, physicians must not only be comfortable in recognizing and addressing errors, but that they need the skills and abilities to do so ((Rotenstein, Sadun & Jena, 2018).
  • The first literacy, the interpersonal literacy, includes abilities related to:
    • Giving feedback and coaching
    • Effectively coordinating teams
    • Displaying emotional intelligence and interprofessional communication.
  • The need and centrality of these skills have been recognized by institutions such as the National Health Service, the AMA and the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
  • Challenges of the organizations and physicians
  • To be able to navigate the identity of physicians
  • Maximize their training
  • Influence their thought processes
  • Develop their leadership skills
  • Understand the new landscape of the profession and business of medicine

Physicians have certain characteristics emphasized during their training that help them develop an attitude of working on their own rather than developing abilities for collaboration with others. (Stoller et al, 2019). During their training, physicians:

  • Emphasize their own individual performance
  • Their own growth
  • Value their autonomy
  • Have a difficult time seeing themselves as “followers” with little value given to leaders within their own institution.
  • Physicians experience extended subordination with long and hierarchical training.
  • Most physician evaluations are based on individual performance, not team or group based.
  • How do we develop physicians as executives and leaders?
  • Why coaching?
  1. “Professional coaching has been associated with improved retention, interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, ability to manage complexity, and communication skills.” (Dyrbye et al, JAMA 2019)
  • “Coaching helps provide leadership ‘language’ and ‘identity’. It appears to ‘name’ clients as ‘leaders’ and challenges ‘imposter phenomenon’. Coaching provided bespoke, deep, experiential learning, with transferable benefits not otherwise available in the Specialty Training programme.” (Harte & McGlade, 2018)
  • “For all participants, executive coaching appeared to positively impact their personal and professional development…The added professional development tool of executive coaching for specialist physicians may have a significant role in supporting productivity, increasing workplace engagement and transforming the culture of medical practice.” (Kirk, Kania-Richmond, and Chaput, 2019)

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  • Babiker A, El Husseini M, Al Nemri A, et al. Health care professional development: Working as a team to improve patient care. Sudan J Paediatr. 2014;14(2):9-16.
  • Dyrbye LN, Shanafelt TD, Gill PR, Satele DV, West CP. Effect of a Professional Coaching Intervention on the Well-being and Distress of Physicians: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial [published online ahead of print, 2019 Aug 5]. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(10):1406-1414. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2425
  • Harte S, McGlade K. Developing excellent leaders – the role of Executive Coaching for GP specialty trainees. Educ Prim Care. 2018 Sep;29(5):286-292. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2018.1501770. Epub 2018 Aug 21. PMID: 30129393.
  • Kane, N., Cyr, L.A. (2018) Physician Leader Training: The Value, Impact, and Challenges. NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery. May, 2018.
  • Kirk VG, Kania-Richmond A, Chaput K. Executive Coaching for Leadership Development: Experience of Academic Physician Leaders. Healthc Q. 2019 Apr;22(1):54-59. doi: 10.12927/hcq.2019.25835. PMID: 31244469.
  • Satiani B, Prakash S. It is Time for More Physician and Nursing Representation on Hospital Boards in the US. J Hosp Med Manage. 2016, 1:2.
  • Stoller JK (2019). Developing physician-leaders: A call to action. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 24(7), 876-8.
  • van de Riet MCP, Berghout MA, Buljac-Samardžić M, van Exel J, Hilders CGJM. What makes an ideal hospital-based medical leader? Three views of healthcare professionals and managers: A case study. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 11;14(6):e0218095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218095. PMID: 31185051; PMCID: PMC6559653.

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