Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How Do You Choose the Physician Leader in Your Medical Practice?

Leader in Your Medical Practice
Leader in Your Medical Practice
We’ve served in practices where the partners or shareholders simply take turns at the helm. In these organizations, a title like “president” or “managing partner” really bears little weight beyond signing contracts and bank notes, and moderating governance meetings. Other groups we’ve worked for have tended to make “president” a life sentence—especially for a charismatic doctor whom the others trust.

The “good-ol’-boy” approach to leadership won’t carry your group very far down the road in the drastically changing environment in which a successful practice must operate in the next few years. Groups that want to remain firmly in control of their own destinies will have to get more serious and more businesslike in their governance. And that calls for exceptional, gifted leaders who exhibit at least these four kinds of characteristics.Instead of electing a “nice guy or nice gal” to be a figure-head, take a look at your partners and determine who among you already exhibits these characteristics:
  • A doctor who demonstrates self-discipline (think about medical records, patient scheduling, self-control in difficult moments) will more likely serve as an effective leader.
  • Doctors who already “set the pace” among their peers show that they can lead others.
  • Doctors who embrace change and show resilience in handling the bumps and curves have a better chance at inspiring their peers to “hang in there” through the challenging times.
  • Doctors who avoid “analysis paralysis” and show a determination to reach well-thought- out goals can help their colleagues continue to move forward.
Increasingly uncertain times lying ahead for physicians and group practices call for stronger physician leadership than ever. Seismic changes are on the horizon, and successful physician leaders will have to navigate territory heretofore uncharted. High-performing physician leaders exhibit four characteristics consistently:

Physician leaders increasingly must lead more than their partners in their groups. They are called to lead growing, complex health systems now. With the emphasis shifting to value over volume, healthcare delivery will continue to become more team-oriented. Physician leaders will have to organize and lead teams of providers.

The requirement for physicians to lead physicians hasn’t changed—and it’s as challenging a task as ever. The shifting environment makes it more complicated than ever, and the new healthcare paradigm demands strong physician leadership.