Enhancing physician engagement: an international perspective

Int J Health Serv. 2014;44(3):567-92. doi: 10.2190/HS.44.3.h.


The purpose of this article is to provide specific recommendations to enhance physician engagement in health care organizations. It summarizes the evidence on physician engagement, drawing on peer-reviewed articles and reports from the gray literature, and suggests an integrative framework to help health care managers better understand and improve physician engagement. While we examine some other international examples and experiences, we mainly focus on physician engagement in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Physician engagement can be conceptualized as an ongoing two-way social process in which both the individual and organizational/cultural components are considered. Building on several frameworks and examples, we propose a new integrative framework for enhancing physician engagement in health care organizations. We suggest that in order to enhance physician engagement, organizations should focus on the following strategies: developing clear and efficient communication channels with physicians; building trust, understanding, and respect with physicians; and identifying and developing physician leaders. We propose that the time is now for health care managers to set aside traditional differences and historical conflicts and to engage their physicians for the betterment of their organizations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Health Facility Administrators / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Trust