AAPL Chief: MDs Eyeing Executive Roles Need Leadership Training

Proactive Approach to Gaining Skills Needed in Complex Medical Field 

By AAPL Staff
January 3, 2018

Peter Angood, MD, tells General Surgery News that institutions should develop ways to identify potential leaders, then provide proper education and experience.

Peter Angood, MD, president and CEO of the American Association for Physician Leadership, says health care organizations are entering a new era in which more physicians will be moving back into leadership — positions they once held prominently several decades ago.

Angood 2018

Peter Angood

However, he tells General Surgery News, “the big difference between now and then is that physicians used to move into those roles with no special training. But health care now is much more complex. For physicians to succeed in these leadership roles, they need to have the additional exposure of education and experience, and they really need to take a proactive approach to gaining leadership skills.”

In the article, The Making of the New Physician Leader, Angood lists inherent traits, aptitudes and attitudes that can give some people an advantage toward success. However, he says, physicians must gauge whether they have a true interest before taking needed steps toward leadership.

Angood recommends institutions develop ways to identify potential leaders by using validated screening strategies, then giving them preparatory roles to see how they evolve, he tells reporter Monica J. Smith. Those might be serving on committees, leading departments or special projects.

Once an organization has identified strong candidates, it should develop a plan for the individual that includes formal education and a way to gain experience.

AAPL offers continuing education for physician leadership, its Certified Physician Executive credential, and several master’s degree programs. For details, visit physicianleaders.org/education.

It does seem as though more institutions are indeed recognizing the benefits of physician leadership, including getting doctors into CEO roles, he says. “I think health care will become stronger the more we can get physicians into these senior administrative roles, because ultimately it’s all about improving health care and patient care, and physicians and surgeons are still the best people to do that.”

To read the entire article on the General Surgery News website, click here.

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