How to Spot a Promising Physician Leader

How to Spot a Promising Physician Leader

Rising healthcare costs, an aging population, and the rapid advancement of medical knowledge have resulted in an increasingly complex healthcare industry. It’s no wonder that more organizations than ever are turning to leaders who are not only skilled in patient care but are also experts in the business side of medicine. Doctors sit in senior executive positions at many prestigious institutions – the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, for example – and across the nation, clinicians looking to transition into the administrative side of medicine are pursuing formal business training. In response, several universities have established MBA programs tailored for doctors.

Despite their training and expertise, the reality is that not all physicians are adept leaders. The challenge for institutions is learning how to tell what character traits and qualifications are common to good physician leaders. According to Health Leaders Media, while advanced business education isn’t always important in health leadership roles, personality traits are invaluable.

All doctors are intelligent, but it takes more than an impressive IQ to be a good leader. Emotional IQ, empathy, and the ability to build consensus are highly valued traits that can reveal someone’s leadership potential. Personality traits in and of themselves don’t determine whether someone will be a good leader. However, organizations have learned that the single most common characteristic that exemplary physician leaders possess is their dedication to exceptional patient care.

Doctors certified through the American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), display the mastery and knowledge shared by the finest clinician leaders. Certification through the ABAM means that a doctor has shown exceptional skills as a clinician as well as a firm understanding of how to effectively manage the business of medicine. At the ABPS, we are committed to providing patients with the best medical care possible. To achieve this, we have established strict eligibility requirements and an examination process with the most rigorous standards in the industry. A physician who earns ABAM board certification, therefore, is not only one of the most knowledgeable physicians in administrative medicine, but also one dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care. With a firm grasp of the business side of medicine and a strong commitment to the treatment and care of patients, Diplomates of the ABAM are in a unique position to shape the future of healthcare in the country.

If you would like to learn more about why ABAM certification can help identify potentially outstanding medical leaders, contact the APBS today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.®



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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.

Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine