In a perfect world, in their work, all people would do what they do best—and only what they do best. Dancers would dance, singers would sing, and physicians and healthcare professionals would spend their time treating patients, teaching, and advancing the science of their profession.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. Singers and dancers must often act as their own managers, agents, accountants, and teachers. In medicine, physicians and healthcare professionals must increasingly focus on hiring, managing, and retaining employees; purchasing and leasing property and equipment; managing long-term plans, finances, and contracts; and handling a mass of other business issues that come up on a daily basis.
Simply put, for many in healthcare, treating patients is just one item on a long list that is becoming more and more dominated by the business side of medicine. And, for physician leaders, the business side of medicine is quickly moving to the top of their to-do lists.
What Makes A Physician Leader?
While there are many types of physician leaders—clinical, academic, research—the focus here is leadership in the context of a business or organization. A physician leader in this sense is a person who has a major role in an organization and motivates colleagues by inspiring them to fulfill an organization’s goals and objectives. This role is different than that of a manager, who typically has a more operational focus and directs a group to accomplish activities according to previously established principles and missions.