Session Details

75X - Physician Leadership: Daunting Issues and Hurdles

Wednesday, March 22

9:00–10:30 a.m.

There is little disagreement that more physician leaders are needed in the field. Yet, physician leaders face several unique hurdles that other healthcare leaders do not. They often have unclear or conflicting roles. Is the role of the physician leader to “represent” the medical staff in a stewardship manner or are they representatives of administration—or both? How can physician leaders balance their clinical work with leadership duties? Do many of the learned attributes from medical school and training conflict with what is required for collaborative team leadership?

Organizations usually promote physicians to leadership positions based upon their clinical expertise, and this is done typically when physicians are in their 40s, years later than most other C-suite leaders. What they often learned in medical school was to give orders and that top-down leadership style turns the team into sheep instead of skilled, collaborative team members. Physician leaders are asked to be “police officers,” monitoring and correcting poor behavior with other physicians without having the full authority to do so. One of the greatest differences between clinical practice and leadership is that, as a leader, you often will not know for years whether the path you chose was the best path or the right path. To be an effective leader means learning to live with ambiguity. This session identifies the key hurdles physicians need to pass to become effective leaders. Specific suggestions will guide organizations in developing physician leaders and how to address the obstacles and nuances that make the transition from clinician to physician leader difficult.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and gain a deeper understanding of the obstacles that make the transition from clinician to physician leader so demanding.
  • Learn how to design a physician leadership assessment and development program so it is more practical, effective and hands-on.

Presented By

Carson F. Dye, FACHE

Carson F. Dye, FACHE


Exceptional Leadership LLC
Lily J. Henson, MD, FACHE, FAAN

Lily J. Henson, MD, FACHE, FAAN


Piedmont Henry Hospital