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American Association for Physician Leadership
American Association for Physician Leadership

Healthcare Leadership for Introverts

by Laura Hills, DA

August 8, 2022


There is a common misconception that introverts can’t be effective leaders because they are too quiet and unassuming for the job. This article argues that introverts can and often do become great leaders precisely because they bring strengths to leadership that extroverts often lack.


This article points to inspiring examples of famous introverted leaders, defines introversion, and describes the characteristics we commonly associate with introverts. It then describes the advantages and challenges of being an introverted leader. It also explains why introverted leaders are often misunderstood and shares sobering research findings that illuminate the biases against introverted leaders. This article then provides 10 practical strategies for introverted healthcare leaders to help them thrive in an extroverted work environment. It also suggests that healthcare organizations can create a more inclusive workplace by forming introvert affinity groups for their employees. Finally, this article contrasts introversion and shyness and suggests which characteristic will make the more effective leader.

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Laura Hills, DA

Practice leadership coach, consultant, author, seminar speaker, and President of Blue Pencil Institute, an organization that provides educational programs, learning products, and professionalism coaching to help professionals accelerate their careers, become more effective and productive, and find greater fulfillment and reward in their work;100 Harborview Drive, #801, Baltimore, MD 21230; phone: 667-205-1152; e-mail:; website: ; Twitter: @DrLauraHills.

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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American Association for Physician Leadership®

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