Leadership Programs: Physician Executive Leadership

Following two years of planning, the Hanley Center has launched what is believed to be the nation’s first independent, statewide physician executive leadership development program. Over a five year period (2011-2016) the Hanley Center’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute (PELI) will build a statewide network of about 400 physician leaders who have successfully completed intensive, national-caliber professional development coursework. PELI will include two distinct programs designed to develop leadership skills at the Foundational and Advanced levels.

Both courses will focus on a set of core competencies developed by a Steering Committee that includes many of Maine’s leading physician executives. These competencies include:

Systems Awareness – The physician leader’s awareness is focused on whole system improvement and recognizes that his or her practice, the health care delivery network, and the local and statewide community welfare comprise an interrelated system. Decisions made at any level will affect all other levels and knowing how to influence these decisions will improve productivity and community welfare. The physician leader thinks and acts from a whole system perspective and makes decisions in light of the long term health of the whole system. System awareness is founded on community concern; sustainable productivity and being a systems thinker.

Strategic Focus – The physician leader is purposeful and visionary; is goal directed and has a track record of goal achievement, execution, and high performance. This competency also measures the
creative use of power, effective decision-making, and the ability to influence systems and policies.

Key Management/Business Skills – The physician leader understands financial statements and what they say about an organization: how to use financial ratios and prepare an effective budget. He/she understands key marketing concepts and strategies as well as IT tools and their use in health care organizations. He/she also understands performance management tools and the importance of having effective and productive conversations with employees/direct reports, as well as understanding basics of reimbursement – Medicare/Medicaid; allocation of expenses.

Self-Awareness – The physician leader is well oriented to ongoing professional and personal development. His/her self-awareness is expressed through high integrity leadership. The hallmark of this leadership is in integrity—not masked by organizational politics, looking good, winning approval, etc. It also measures the ability to take tough stands, bring up the "un-discussables" (risky issues the group avoids discussing), to openly deal with relationship problems, and share personal feelings/vulnerabilities about a situation. Courage in the workplace involves genuinely and directly dealing with risky issues in one-to-one and group situations.

Health Care Trends – The physician leader understands the need for collaborative leadership in emerging models of health care especially as it relates to physician-hospital relationships; evolving trends in health care delivery and payment (e.g., Patient Centered Medical Home, Accountable Care Organizations); the role of physician leaders in emerging models of care and the links between clinical care, public health, and health policy.

Fosters Team Work and Collaboration through strong interpersonal skills – The physician leader has the ability to foster high-performance teamwork among team members under their supervision across the organization, and within teams in which they participate. He/she is collaborative and promotes collaboration e.g., engages others in a manner that allows the parties involved to discover common ground in conflict situations, find mutually beneficial agreements, develop synergy, and create win-win situations.