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Turning Doctors into Managers

Healthcare’s new physician leader calls for someone who, figuratively, holds a dual-major in medicine and leadership.

By Debra Walker

Debra WalkerDoctors become doctors because they’re interested in the art of healing, so promoting doctors into leadership roles needs to balance the hands-on practice of medicine with the demands of a leadership role.

So how can talent management professionals successfully transition doctors into managers? Define the role, diagnose a physician’s leadership readiness, and develop them to be the leaders your organization needs.

Define: What you are looking for in your physician leaders?

You must first define what to look for scientifically by clarifying the role of a physician leader. This includes the combination of knowledge, experience, competencies, and personal traits that is required for a leader in your organization to be successful.

Diagnose: What is needed for a physician to make the leadership leap?

Next, you have to measure physicians against the profile to determine their readiness to step into a leadership role, whether they have the personal attributes to be a leader, and if they have demonstrated solid performance in their role.

Develop: How can a physician acquire or improve their leadership skills?

Now determine those areas that can easily be developed—specifically areas like communication, coaching, delegating, and managing others, versus those more personal attributes that are more difficult to develop. Physician development has to be relevant to them for them to justify spending the time on it.

Debra Walker is a senior consultant for DDI.

Read the full article, Developing Physician Leaders, for more on how you can define, diagnose, and develop with your physician leadership audience.

Posted: 20 Feb, 2013,
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