What If Your Physician Boss Is A Mediocre Leader?

How would you describe the physician leading your healthcare organization, your department head, or the chair of the committee to which you were just assigned? Inspiring? Visionary? Transformational?

Or maybe just mediocre?

Chances are, some experts say, it's the latter. That can have a profound impact on everything from your organization's strategic direction to how you feel about coming to work.

What Is a Healthcare Leader?

The word "leader" gets bandied about an awful lot in healthcare these days. Many people reserve it for the people in the C-suite. Others think of the department head or committee chair to whom they report as their leader. Still others say leadership has nothing to do with a person's title and everything to do with the respect they command.

"A leader is someone who makes things happen that otherwise would not," says Dr Robert Pearl, former CEO of the Permanente Medical Group and a member of the faculty at the Stanford University School of Business. That's very different from a manager. "Managers make things happen that are expected to occur."

That may sound like lofty talk, but it has very real-world implications. If the person at the top of health system, hospital, or large practice can't chart a course and rally the troops, then the organization stagnates, fails to attract talent, and falls behind its competitors. If a department head can't engage the physicians under them, those doctors are more likely to become burned out, which can result in increased turnover and patient dissatisfaction.

"Seventy percent of an organization's culture is shaped by its leaders," says Jennifer Perry, who leads the healthcare practice for FMG Leading, a San Diego-based consulting firm. "What they say what they do, what they pay attention to matters because that influences the culture."

Indeed, leadership has a measurable impact on physician morale and burnout. A 2013 study of more than 2800 physicians at Mayo Clinic used a 60-point scale to assess leadership. The study found that each 1-point increase in the leadership score of a physician's immediate supervisor (division/department chair) was associated with a 3.3% decrease in the likelihood of burnout and a 9.0% increase in satisfaction.[1]

Source : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/900614

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