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.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine