In Search of Physician Leaders
Without the ability to identify
true leaders the future is bleak.
Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD, On Leadership: Essential Principles for
Business, Political, and Personal Success, Skyhorse Publishing, 2008, 2011
last ten years, I have been on the board of medical advisors for a New York
City- based publishing company Castle Connolly Limited. Among its activities, Castle Connolly publishes
an annual book America’s Top Doctors. Through
nominating process, Castle Connolly identifies 3000 or so of these doctors and
publishes their names in its national and regional publications
Connolly also sponsors an annual National Physician of the Year Awards evening,
akin to an Academy Awards, for physicians.
year those being honored include:
National Physician of the Year Awardees
Michael R. Harrison, M.D.
Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynecology &
Founding Director, Fetal Treatment Center
University of California, San Francisco
Sterling Williams, M.S., M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President of Education, American College of Obstetricians &
Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, George Washington University
Gopal Badlani, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs
Department of Urology, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Jo A Hannafin, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Weill Cornell Medical College
Hospital for Special Surgery
Jerry A. Shields, M.D.
Director, Oncology Service
Wills Eye Institute
Professor of Ophthalmology
Thomas Jefferson University
National Health Leadership
President and CEO, Halfaker and Associates, LLC
President, Board of Directors, Wounded Warrior Project
to me a similar search might be conducted for Physician Leaders of the year. A dearth of
physician leadership exists. When the American Medical Association backed
Obamacare, it created a leadership
vacuum. Tens of thousands of physicians
resigned from the AMA. Why? Physicians felt powerless and leaderless. Though national
surveys, the Physicians Foundation (physiciansfoundation.org) has documented
this concern about lack of leadership.
are angry because Obamacare systematically decreases their reimbursements, attacks the fee-for-service reimbursement system, hassles them with burdensome regulations, increases practice expenses through mandatory
EHRs and electronic prescribing, forces them into accountable care
organizations, creates physician shortages, dries up access to physicians, and drives up cost of care.
event, physicians are looking for
physician leadership to lead them out of the health reform morass and abyss.
nominations for established and emerging physician leaders are:
J. Palmisano, MD, JD, former AMA president (2003-2004), founder of
Intrepid Resources ®, a Patient Safety and Risk Management Company, and an authority
Carson, MD, head of pediatric
neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, who advocates health savings accounts for all
from birth to death.
“Tony” Cosgrove, MD, CEO of Cleveland Clinic, who stresses accommodating to
Obamacare by building more effective integrated
health organizations, increasing their outreach, and emphasizing cost consciousness
Zwelling MD of California, and David McKalip of Florida, AMA members who criticize the parent
organization and suggest reform alternatives
Ray, MD, retired pediatrician and VP of the Physicians Foundation, who has been active in leading development of
white papers , national surveys, and
grants to improve physician practices.
be interested in identifying other leaders.
Send your nominees to me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and I will publish them in my blog.
do so, consider these essentials of
leadership, as identified by Dr. Palmisano.
the necessary “homework.”
persistent; doesn’t give up when faced with challenges; is relentless in
pursuit of goal.
understands both the mission and the goal.
integrity; is ethical.
fail to act in absence of either instructions for an unexpected crises or the desired data on which to base decisions.
good listener and an effective communicator.
not depend on the approval of others to
that unity adds to success and division leads to failure.
“from the front.”
others and engages them using his or her passion and authentic behavior
asks others to take risks that he or she would not take.
get rattled in crises.
opportunities to advance the mission.
how to identify those who are sincere in internal relations.
trustworthy and learns quickly whom to trust.
dependable, adhering a company’s or a movement’ mission without
compromising principles .for personal
benefit or enrichment.
a loyal follower and supporter of other leaders once they are identified.
that leadership is not an ego trip.
Tweet: Practicing physicians are concerned about a
loss of physician leadership. They
should set up a nominating process to identify their leaders
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