Healthcare has become increasingly complex in recent years, making it difficult for the clinicians to strike a balance between cost and quality of care and between humanity and technology. These challenges, among others, have left clinics in great need of leaders with extraordinary management skills.
There were times when doctors were not considered as prepared for leadership roles. However, the opinion has changed in recent years. In several countries, including Sweden, Germany, France and China, doctors are more involved in managing medical facilities.
According to recent studies, doctors in leadership positions can result in improved patient care and the overall performance of the clinic. This is why chief executives in the top-rated clinic are more likely to be clinical leaders rather than those having a business or administrative degree.
Many of the world’s leading clinics, including Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, have clinically trained managers.
Researches also show that spending time caring for patients make doctors capable of dealing with the challenges that a clinic administrator faces. Similarly, doctors in executive roles can improve the job satisfaction of their colleagues because their clinical background makes them more credible to them than non-physician managers.
Studies show that doctors in executive roles are more likely to create a balanced work environment, set realistic goals and precisely evaluate the contribution of each individual.
It has been shown that the average quality score of clinics where the CEO is a doctor is significantly greater than the score of the clinics that are managed by people without any clinical degree. In fact, the studies show that high-ranked clinics hire medically trained doctor executives while lower-ranked clinics choose non-MD professional managers.
Studies also show that doctors can even make more informed budgetary decisions than professional managers.
Many top clinics have hired doctors for managerial positions in order to ensure focus on patient-centered practice. They believe since doctors have spent years looking through a patient-focused lens, they emphasize on a patient-focused strategy after moving to executive positions.
Another study suggests that hiring doctors for executive roles also has a positive impact on external stakeholders like patients about the clinic’s priorities.
A number of studies in recent years have shown that having a doctor in charge can ensure better patient care and a better overall clinic. However, it doesn’t mean that all the doctors are good leaders.
While doctors inherently possess honesty, passion and compassion — the character traits considered inevitable for leadership, they need to develop their administrative skills, teambuilding, strategic planning, and conflict resolution capabilities to become successful clinic leaders.