Sunday, September 20, 2015

Physician Leadership and Lifelong Learning

I haven’t been posting much recently, with valid reasons.  I began a Business of Medicine MBA Program at the Kelley School of Business, and have homework, readings, and assignments that have immersed me in new subjects.  I absolutely love being a student again!  The lifelong learning which I enjoy writing about is alive and well, and I feel invigorated with the opportunity to learn new subject areas with other like-minded physician students who are in this with me.  The class demographics are quite diverse and reflect different specialties and reasons for choosing to enroll in an MBA program designed for physicians.

In one course, Healthcare Revenue and Delivery, we discuss issues relevant to healthcare today.  We had the opportunity to delve into the implementation of learning healthcare systems, and also physician leadership and engagement.  Some key takeaways are critical and reflect some of the educational curricula that are being updated both at the medical school level and also at the residency level.  These takeaways are challenges faced by physician leaders of the future, but should be tackled if we are going to actively address healthcare in the current environment.

First, team approaches to solving problems usually are better than just one independent voice making decisions in a unilateral manner.  We absolutely see this in the training environment, where some trainees function at a very high level when working with others health care providers, and some need more guidance with respect to understanding team dynamics.

Second, asking questions is probably just as important as (and maybe more important than) having the answers.  This gets at not necessarily being the “captain of the ship”, but rather a facilitator of others.  Much learning goes on when leaders listen and ask questions!

Third, leaders need to leverage external innovation (partnering with others who have expertise different from one’s own) as a valuable asset to move an organization forward.  We all can’t be experts in everything!

Fourth, it is important to make the mission and vision of an organization real.  Sometimes this means saying “no” to something that is in direct conflict with one’s values.  Constant reminders of the mission are always helpful when making key decisions.

There were many other points made, but these resonated with me as important aspects to take away during our first few days.  I anticipate more posts as a result of these vibrant, healthy discussions about healthcare, including not only where it is but where it is going!  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A personal mission statement based on your vision and values becomes a personal constitution, the basis for making both major, life-directing decisions and those daily decisions that need to be made amid the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. See more nurse personal statement