Action Wheel Leadership

for Physicians 

Developing Physician Leaders

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From the time the decision to pursue a career in medicine is made, the aspiring physician must constantly perform.  From the unforgiving competition of the pre-med experience, through the intensity of medical school, through the marathon of residency, to finally beginning to practice, the physician is on a treadmill to deepen medical knowledge and build practical skills.


Leadership for Physicians

Current Realities:

Physicians are:

  • Spending more time on medical records, less time with patients
  • Practicing disease management medicine
  • Doing clinical procedures in order to increase revenue(s) and personal income
  • Serving the institution trumps providing patient-centered medicine

Through it all, physicians are not only expected to maintain medical expertise, but are also counted on to lead. From direct patient care, to directing staff, to participating on, advising, and leading committees, physicians face complex leadership challenges daily. 

 Providers are expected to be as competent in managing this leadership complexity as they are in addressing medical challenges.   

Just one problem.  For most physicians, practical leadership training is scant, or non-existent.  While most physician development has been filled with meeting medical requirements, there has been little or no priority given to this other, very real part of an effective physician’s role. 

Most providers respond by learning on the job, leading intuitively, and learning from their own experiences and the styles of other leaders.  This seat-of-the-pants approach to learning leadership can work well; yet even when it does, physicians often remain unsure and uncertain about this part of their job. 

When it doesn’t work well, some providers can fail to adequately develop in this important area.  Communication, interpersonal skills, decision making, conflict management, adaptive problem solving, and other core leadership skills never develop. 

Physicians can become unbalanced; remaining highly productive in the practice of medical procedures, but becoming disruptive and disengaging when working with others.  This isn’t good for anyone, and the effects quickly become obvious.

What are the ‘right’ leadership protocols and procedures?  Where is the evidence-based information for how to lead most effectively?  What is leadership, really?  Does leadership really matter to the physician’s job?  

These are the questions physicians want addressed…and the Minnesota Physician Leadership Program is just the place to do it. 

The Opportunity:

The Minnesota Physician Leadership Program Goals

  • Achieve balanced life/work
  • Deal with critical issues/people without losing personal integrity
  • Develop and maintain trusting relationships with colleagues/patients
  • Focus on people first, then paper/procedures
  • Sit at the decision-making table as a trusted equal
  • Experience less stress and more joy at home and office

The AWL Group is accredited by the Minnesota Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

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