Physician leadership: essential skills in a changing environment

Am J Surg. 2000 Sep;180(3):187-92. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(00)00481-5.


Precisely because they are at the center of clinical service delivery, physicians, especially surgeons, are the ideal leaders for health care in the 21st century. Although most physicians possess the traits essential for leadership, the vast majority lacks the technical skills necessary for major leadership/management roles that will both change and empower the local healthcare service delivery environment. Such skills include strategic and tactical planning, persuasive communication, negotiation, financial decision-making, team building, conflict resolution, and interviewing. Just like surgical training, these skills too require systematic training. With patients beginning to demand value-added service, it is important for healthcare executives to identify those physicians best suited to serve as leaders within the larger healthcare system and to deliberately nurture their growth in these administrative competencies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • General Surgery*
  • Hospital-Physician Relations*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Physician's Role*
  • United States