Doctor, Is Healthcare Management in Your Future?
Due to the nature of their roles, physicians must be leaders, regardless of workplace hierarchy. After all, few other jobs require years of demanding training, a calm demeanor in the face of emergencies, quick decisionmaking, and high-level teamwork. While the range of skills that physicians must bring to bear on a daily basis are certainly exemplary, that physicians are also the center of both patient care and the business of medicine puts them in a unique position of influence.
It’s no surprise, then, that doctors sit in executive positions at prestigious institutions across the county. Analysis would reveal that good physician leaders possess common traits, such as intelligence, a high emotional IQ, empathy, and the ability to build consensus. And, of course, they also have the medical education and residency training that are necessary for titled positions. But the reality is that a doctor can display all of these traits, hold all the necessary qualifications, and still be an uninspired manager. Why? Because leadership doesn’t necessarily come naturally, and like many other roles in the medical industry, good physician leaders must be developed.
The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) believes that having more qualified doctors in management positions would help both patients and the businesses that serve them by promoting efficient patient-centered care. The ABPS offers physicians who are considering a role in business leadership and management a path to certification through its Member Board, the American Board of Administrative Medicine® (ABAM®). Doctors who have earned ABAM certification have shown that they have the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage the business side of medicine for individual practices, hospital groups, and other healthcare organizations.
In addition to meeting a number of general ABPS requirements, an applicant for certification through the ABAM must have a master’s degree in business administration, medical management, or health administration, or at least 5 years of experience in an administrative position, which includes additional training in management-related functions consistent with the core competencies outlined in the ABAM examination blueprint.
To earn certification in administrative medicine, doctors must pass a computer-based written exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice items. Subject areas covered on the exam are based on key topics in the specialty as identified by practitioners, instructors, and other leaders in administrative medicine. Subject areas include, but are not limited to, finance, quality and safety, health law and corporate compliance, health policy, and business development.
If you are physician who thinks that administrative medicine may be in your future, we encourage you to apply for certification with the ABAM as medical leadership skills will only grow in importance as the healthcare industry evolves. For more details about the ABAM, or to request an examination blueprint to use as a reference in preparing for the exam, contact the ABPS today.