Physician as hospital chief executive officer

Vasc Endovascular Surg. Feb-Mar 2008;42(1):88-94. doi: 10.1177/1538574407309320.


The vast majority of hospitals in the United States today are led by nonphysicians. This is in sharp contrast to the turn of the 20th century, when over a third of the hospitals in the United States were physician led. As the pendulum swings back from lay leader to clinician leader, there is a strong and appropriate opportunity for physicians to reinsert themselves into a leadership role. In fact, the time has perhaps never been more appropriate than today. In a health care system that is complex, troubled, and challenging, the physician CEO brings a unique set of skills to the business of medicine. The successful physician leader, however, must understand the business of medicine as well as or better than he or she understands the practice of medicine. Training, developing, and equipping our future physician leaders with the necessary skill sets will be one of medicines' many challenges as it expands into the 21st century.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chief Executive Officers, Hospital*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Physician Executives*
  • United States