American Association for Physician Leadership

News Release

David Harrison

Changing Paradigm for Physicians Demonstrates Value of Leadership Training New Study and Analysis Released by the American Association for Physician Leadership

April 15, 2024

“The healthcare sector is increasingly looking to physicians to meet its urgent challenges, including the need to move to value-based care, to reduce health and healthcare disparities, and to address the confounding social drivers of health.”

WASHINGTON, DC – April 15, 2024 – A new study by the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) identifies how the changing role of physicians reveals the need for expanded leadership training to meet the demand of providing quality healthcare.

“The share of physicians working in practices wholly owned by physicians dropped to 46.7%, down from 60.1% in 2012,” according to research cited in the white paper. “As hospitals and health systems increasingly employ physicians, they need physician leaders who serve as ‘interface professionals’ who bridge medicine and management … Physician-led organizations outperform their non-physician-led peers on measures of quality of care, patient experience, and cost of care.”

“All healthcare organizations share two imperatives: to improve patient outcomes and ensure the sustainability of the nation’s healthcare delivery system,” said AAPL president and CEO Peter Angood, MD, FRCS (C), FACS, MCCM, FAAPL(Hon).“Meeting these challenges requires every physician, regardless of having a formal administrative role or not, to be a highly effective leader – our society expects this. Physicians do not typically acquire leadership and management skills during their medical training; however, a growing array of leadership development opportunities, including those through certification and those offering a variety of content, format, duration, and purpose have emerged to meet the demand. AAPL looks forward to helping drive further expansion in this critical area of physician training and education.”

“As AAPL’s Executive Alliance Partner, our organization is pleased to support this new study highlighting the benefits of formal physician leadership training,” noted Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search. “A national leader in the permanent recruitment of physician executives, physicians, and advanced practice providers, our firm sees first-hand how strong physician leadership not only improves organizational outcomes but also positively influences clinician recruitment and retention.”

The white paper included a review of literature examining Physician Leadership Development Programs (PLDPs), which are growing in number and scope across the industry. These programs, the research found, are highly dependent on the overall culture and commitment to leadership training within organizations inside each sector of healthcare.

An organization’s leadership ecosystem includes all the factors that surround a PLDP and contribute to a physician leader’s success — or failure — in influencing positive changes:

  • Funding to support the changes physician leaders are attempting to influence within organizations;

  • Infrastructure alignment with other training and leadership development programs that are clear across diverse career paths;

  • Cultural factors within institutions, including recognized role models, diversity of participants, and organizational appreciation for the value of PLDP participation;

  • Ready availability of coaches, mentors, and experienced educators; and

  • Engagement with post-PLDP activities such as alumni networks and follow-up sessions.

Within a successful corporate structure, PLDP’s can have the following measurable impacts on physicians:

  • Increased self-awareness and insight with improved interpersonal communication skills

  • Expansion of professional networks, internally and externally

  • Increased volume and better outcomes with quality improvement projects

  • Preparation for more advanced senior leadership roles and smooth succession plans

In 2023 AAPL conducted an initial survey of physician leaders who completed the Certified Physician Executive (CPE), credential program, one of the longest-running and most respected educational opportunities for physician leaders. More than 90 percent reported that achieving the certification empowered them to achieve personal and professional leadership goals. Numerous examples of institutional benefits to having CPE-qualified physicians were noted.

About the American Association for Physician Leadership
The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) is focused on the personal transformation of all physicians, and through them the organizations they serve. With the goal of improving patient outcomes, workforce wellness, and a refinement of all healthcare delivery, AAPL has remained the only association solely focused on providing professional development, leadership education, and management training exclusively for physicians. Since its founding in 1975, AAPL has educated 250,000+ physicians across 40 countries—including CEOs, chief medical officers, and physicians at all levels of healthcare.

About Jackson Physician Search
Jackson Physician Search is an established industry leader in physician recruitment and pioneered the recruitment methodologies standard in the industry today. The firm specializes in the permanent recruitment of physicians, physician executives, and advanced practice providers for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and medical groups across the United States. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, the company is recognized for its track record of results built on client trust and transparency of processes and fees. Jackson Physician Search is part of the Jackson Healthcare® family of companies. For more information, visit .

PR Newswire

For over 45 years.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has helped physicians develop their leadership skills through education, career development, thought leadership and community building.

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) changed its name from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) in 2014. We may have changed our name, but we are the same organization that has been serving physician leaders since 1975.


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AAPL providers leadership development programs designed to retain valuable team members and improve patient outcomes.

American Association for Physician Leadership®

formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)