Collaborative Physician Development

2 Mins read


My inspiration for “Collaborative Physician Development” came from Lee Ann Jarousse’s recent article in Hospitals and Health Networks. I agree wholeheartedly with her premise:


My inspiration for “Collaborative Physician Development” came from Lee Ann Jarousse’s recent article in Hospitals and Health Networks. I agree wholeheartedly with her premise:

Physician engagement is paramount as hospitals and health systems navigate the transition from volume to value. But engagement alone won’t be enough to ensure organizational success. As the hospital field tackles clinical integration, population health and performance improvement to drive transformational change, physician leadership is crucial.

She quoted Ana Pujols McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Joint Commission:

Most physician leaders are tossed into their roles without any prep work.

The transition to leadership is not a light switch. It may take years for physician achievers to learn to be:

  • Part of a consensual change process, rather than change implementers
  • Active listeners who focus on physicians’ concerns in an empathetic fashion
  • People who can hold onto two conflicting ideas, pointing out the best parts of each argument to achieve a collaborative synthesis better than either competing view

Collaborative Physician Development: Putting Patients First

Dr. John Combes, chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association, made the following point about optimizing collaborative physician development:

It’s important to show them that their development as leaders is essential for the success of the organization as a clinical enterprise, and not simply as a business enterprise.

Brian Wong’s book, Heroes Need Not Apply, discussed the skills physicians need to become trusted leaders. The mnemonic TRUSTED stands for:

  • Team player
  • Responsive and respectful
  • Understanding, listening, and learning without judgment
  • Safe, approachable, someone who protects confidentiality
  • Talented, knowledgeable, competent
  • Executes: someone who gets results and honors commitments
  • Dedicated: someone who models the work ethic and timeliness

The first four letters refer to role-specific behavior, while the remaining three refer to job-specific behavior.  Both are necessary for building a successful, patient-accountable organizational culture. Teams solving problems together is the key to working smarter rather than harder.

What do you think? As always, I welcome your input to improve healthcare collaboration where you work. Please send me your comments and suggestions for improvement.

Kenneth H. Cohn © 2015, all rights reserved Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for writing this content. I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein.

collaborative physician / shutterstock

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