Is your organization struggling with physician engagement — getting physicians on the organized medical staff on board with scheduling imperatives, quality and cost initiatives, and management expectations? Maybe your organization has added a layer of medical directors who report to the administration and are meant to support physician leadership?
While there are many ways medical directors can contribute positively to a hospital’s form and function, they often struggle to deliver on management’s vision. And with that, they have trouble delivering on the investment in their roles.
Expecting them to succeed through empowerment alone is like giving beginner divers sponsored swim suits and a cheering section, then expecting them not to make a splash off their first high dive. (And expecting them to climb cheerfully back up the ladder.)
It is often said that a CMO’s role boils down to one thing in the eyes of the CEO and the Board: “Fixing the docs.” And now, a CMO’s success is further measured through the medical directors’ success on key initiatives.
So, what’s the answer? Is “empowering” medical directors enough for them to succeed?
Like physician leaders, medical directors need to be armed with the right skills and decision-making frameworks to be successful. CMOs can help both physician leaders and medical directors succeed in their roles and responsibilities by helping them learn to:
- Pinpoint root causes and frame management approaches and decisions
- Understand when a new policy is needed and when an overly complex policies are the culprit
- Master the art of getting parties with competing agendas to agree and move forward on common ground
- Build teams and achieving accountability and follow through
The key to achieving organizational success through either medical staff leadership or medical directors is education. Clinical training does not always prepare them for business leadership. Expecting them to succeed through empowerment alone is like giving beginner divers sponsored swim suits and a cheering section, then expecting them not to make a splash off their first high dive. (And expecting them to climb cheerfully back up the ladder.)
Empowerment is a crucial piece, but physician leaders and medical directors also need business leadership skills and best practices to draw from, plus a network of peers, resources, and mentors to call on.
Are you ready to start the conversation about leadership training for medical directors? Click here for information on Greeley’s upcoming Physician and Hospital Leadership Seminars.
START THE CONVERSATION