So, Why Are We Talking Today? Interview Tips for Executives

By Jason Petros

In my career as an executive search consultant in the healthcare industry, I’ve spent thousands of hours in interviews with chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief medical officers and a myriad of other demonstrably successful healthcare leaders. These opportunities have allowed me to identify a few key components that successful candidates always seem to provide during the course of high-level interviews.

Expression of Interest

The first is a clearly…

Transitioning a Search to a Search Firm

By Melissa Fincher

It is fairly common for an institution to undertake a leadership recruitment on its own, and later in the process to seek the services of an executive search firm. It may be that the search committee wants to take a fresh approach, to reach out to a broader segment of candidates or enlist the expertise of experienced search consultants.

As a former university talent acquisition and organizational development consultant and current executive recruiter, I have experienced this transition…

The 4 Qualities of ‘Next-Level’ Healthcare CFOs

“Hospitals and health systems have no shortage of excellent CFOs who, from a technical and operational standpoint, do their jobs well,” writes Witt/Kieffer’s John McFarland. “However, those CFOs who exhibit ‘next-level’ leadership qualities are the most successful in leading their organizations through the changing healthcare landscape.”

What defines “next-level” can be subjective, McFarland says. He outlines four capabilities a successful healthcare CFO must be able to accomplish in a recent article for HFMA’s CFO Forum:

Women’s Leadership in Academic Medicine: Insignificant Gains?

As a former researcher and administrator in academic medicine, Witt/Kieffer’s Joyce De Leo joined the executive search profession to fuel her passion to mentor women to apply for and succeed in leadership roles. In a recent article published by HigherEd Jobs, De Leo examines the progress of women’s leadership in academic medicine in relation to the ELAM program, which was developed to increase the number and influence of women leaders…

Matthew Might, PhD: A Story of Opportunity-Driven Leadership

As the inaugural director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Matthew Might has the opportunity to truly make a difference in a dynamic new field. Seizing opportunities is nothing new to Dr. Might, who is also a senior lecturer of biomedical informatics with Harvard Medical School and was formerly a strategist with President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. Dr. Might is a pioneer in addressing rare genetic disorders, inspired by his son,…

The Elusive (and Expanding) Role of the Provost

By Concetta M. Stewart, Ph.D.

With higher education undergoing significant transformation, institutions are looking for a new kind of leader in the provost. Today’s provost is often asked to take on responsibilities that go well beyond academic stewardship to include areas as expansive and diverse as enrollment and admissions, student affairs and student services, compliance, finance, fundraising, marketing, and even information technology.

That provosts play an increasingly central role would not be debated…

Leaving the Ladder: Rethinking the Healthcare Executive Career Path

By Rachel Polhemus and Jason Petros

Mergers and acquisitions have influenced nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry in recent years, including the career opportunities available to rising executives. Hospital and health system consolidation has resulted in fewer CEO positions, more centralized decision-making, and often frustration among top leaders about their roles and responsibilities. For many executives, the rapid increase of matrixed mega-systems has upended the traditional path of advancement. Moving slowly but steadily up the ladder has gone…

The Provost’s Role in the Presidential Search

As the chief academic officer and often the chief budget officer, the provost plays a critical role during a presidential search and transition. The following is a conversation with Witt/Kieffer’s Concetta Stewart and Philip Tang about key challenges and best practices.

[This interview is also available in PDF format. It is included in the new Third Edition of our guidebook, Best Practices…

The Impact of Burnout on Healthcare Executives: A Witt/Kieffer Study

What causes burnout among healthcare executives? Are employers offering programs to address the phenomenon, and is it enough? What do some individuals do at work and on their own in an effort to address burnout? Does job burnout have the ability to drive top healthcare executives from their jobs, perhaps even into non-healthcare related fields?

In an attempt to better understand the impact of burnout on retaining…

The Unique Challenge of Physician Burnout in Academic Medicine


By Christopher Colenda, MD, MPH, DLFAPA

On his 55th birthday, Alton went to work as usual. The Chief Medical Officer of a large academic medical center, Alton had led an exceptional life, rising from industrial Midwest origins through college, medical school, residency, fellowship, faculty appointment and a succession of administrative posts. He was an accomplished faculty member and researcher – a sort of Horatio Alger as an academic physician.

On this day he arrived and, instead of going to his…