What Are Your Biggest Challenges as a Physician Leader?

I Want to Address Your Needs

Family physician, certified physician executive, entrepreneur, writer, blogger, CME surveyor, public health expert, nonprofit board member.

I feel that it’s time for me to reflect on where VITAL Physician Executive has been, where it’s going, and whether I am addressing the biggest challenges for the physician leader.

Update on This Blog

Last year when I started writing, I committed to myself to post twice a week. And I have stuck by that pretty well. Since June 2016, I have published 84 posts prior to this one.

But you may have noticed that I’ve slowed down over the past month. My recent posts have been longer than most of my previous posts. For example, the post just prior to this one (Creating a Wildly Effective Annual Management Plan) was well over 2,000 words, and the two prior to that ran around 1,000 words each.

When I read opinions about the ideal lengths of posts, I see recommendation of 500 to 700 words (Michael Hyatt), to 750 to 1,000 words (Mark Mason) to lengthy, in-depth mega-posts that may be 3,000+ words in length (Tim Ferriss).

What’s important, however, is what my readers want. So, I am going to change things around a bit. I am going to post a bit less often – about once a week – with an occasional shorter post in-between.

The posts may be somewhat longer and more in-depth, but not routinely over 2,000 words like the last one.

My interviews (Lawrence Earl and Jeremy Blanchard) were fairly popular, so I am going to try to line up a few more over the next few months.

Posting less frequently will allow me to focus more on the quality of the content, and to developing bonus items. Then we’ll see how my readers respond.

The Genesis

My primary goal in writing this blog is to help my readers transition to a non-clinical career as a healthcare executive, and to encourage physicians to seek more leadership roles, in general.

As I think back to my years as a hospital executive, there were several challenges for the physician leader that I recognized and  worked to address.

  • Effectively inspiring, coaching and evaluating my direct reports
  • Knowing when and how to terminate an employee with integrity
  • Understanding how to create a succession plan for me and my direct reports
  • How to be an effective team member of the senior executive team (most of whom had decades of experience in hospital management)
  • Preparing budgets for my division each year

If you ask my CEO, COO and CFO, I’m sure there were many more challenges that I needed to overcome!

Progress

But we worked through those, and played to my strengths. I became a valuable member of the team, providing my unique perspectives, attitudes and skills as a former practicing family physician, business owner, public health practitioner and trained physician executive.

I give a lot of credit to my CEO, Phil Kambic. He spends a lot of time and effort on developing his team, promoting trust, providing professional business coaching, and supporting a culture that is focused on quality medical care for patients. This has resulted in multiple Truven Top 100 Hospital Designations and HealthGrades 5 Star Ratings, Magnet Hospital Designation by the ANCC, and many other patient quality and employer awards for Riverside Healthcare.

I’ve come to observe even more challenges for the physician leader, through my experiences and in those shared by my physician colleagues.

I don’t have all of the answers. I have certain skills and have worked with a very effective board of directors and senior executive team. And I know where to find information and tools that can be helpful to emerging physician leaders.

My Ask

I would really appreciate your feedback. Please let me know what you think of my plan for shifting the content of this blog by Commenting below.

Even better, complete this statement in the Comments:

As a physician leader/manager/executive, the biggest challenge I face is _________________.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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Contact me: john.jurica.md@gmail.com.

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See you in the next post.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.