Why Doctors Make Good Healthcare CEOs

Healthcare is looking for more CEOs who are physicians. A pertinent question, therefore, is whether physicians generally make good CEOs. And if so, what are the considerations around hiring a doctor to lead the entire organization? In the Q&A below, senior partner Kimberly Smith, FACHE, considers the issues.

There are more physician CEOs today than in years past. Are they generally successful or do results vary significantly from one to another? What factors are at play?

Smith:



David J. Cook, MD: Leadership Is a Time to Learn

 

For David J. Cook, MD, MHA, FAHA, life is about learning. Learning, he says, comes from seizing upon opportunities for new experiences that force him outside of his comfort zone. Dr. Cook holds a B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from Lehigh University, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, and an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, with residency and fellowship training at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He was an anesthesiologist and faculty member at Mayo who…



Recruiting Healthcare CISOs: Keep the Big Picture in Mind

By Nick Giannas

In an information age, the critical importance of information security is just becoming fully realized. The most vigilant organizations in the private and public sector are vulnerable to cyber-threats, as we have seen, and it is well known that healthcare data and information will be a target for hackers and other criminals in the future.

Not surprisingly, the position of healthcare Chief Information Security Officer has mushroomed in significance. It’s a true executive-level position, I recently told Rajiv…



CIOs Can Survive Career Minefields

 

By Chris Wierz

A CIO’s landscape is replete with technology (and career) minefields, and every healthcare CIO should be prepared to navigate through the danger zone. I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion during last fall’s CHIME CIO Fall Forum about how CIOs can avoid, or recover from, four of the most dangerous career minefields.

The excellent CHIME session led to an article. I, along with my fellow panelists—Chris Belmont, Vice President and CIO, University of Texas MD Anderson…



Physicians in the C-Suite: Demand Continues to Outpace Supply

 

The growing number of clinicians making their way to the C-Suite — to Chief Medical Officer, Chief Clinical Officer, and other roles — has been noted many times here on the Witt & Wisdom blog. (See, for example, “Health System Leadership: Seeking Physician Executives with Business Acumen.”) This trend is not slowing down and was the focus of the cover story of Health Leaders Magazine’s May issue. Kudos to that publication for a lengthy, well-researched,…



Chief of Staff: A Much-Needed “Right Hand” for Healthcare CEOs

By Andrew P. Chastain

Healthcare CEOs are experiencing an expanding workload as the industry continues to change, making it challenging to “steer the ship while scanning the horizon for threats and opportunities.” It is unrealistic to think that one person can capably juggle all the responsibilities while serving a wide range of constituents. One solution for CEOs is to engage a chief of staff to serve as their “right hand.”

Though common in politics and the corporate world, a chief of…



Veteran with Vision: A Profile of Reggie Pearson

 

For Reggie Pearson, the climb to the executive suite in healthcare – and his current position of Vice President of Operations for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital – had its roots in military service. Since that time, Pearson has learned about the importance of vision in leadership. (“Nothing great has been achieved without vision,” he says.) He has also learned that the vision and skills of one person will not translate to success without the collective energy and skill of…



Population Health Is An Opportunity for Rural Health

By Beth Nelson

Despite continuing speculation that the move toward population health is problematic for rural hospitals and healthcare systems (ie, those with small populations), the emergence of new and innovative programs by some providers indicates otherwise.

While disruptive change will continue, rural hospitals and health systems that embrace the right population health strategies, and recruit the right leaders to implement those strategies, can seize opportunities. This was…



Precision Medicine: Who Will Lead?

 

By Hillary Ross

Precision medicine was a late-term focus of the Obama administration, and will remain a national priority as the new regime comes to Washington. The potential benefits number too many to ignore.

As health systems decide on what precision medicine (or personalized medicine) will look like for them, and move toward implementation of that vision, there is a need to recruit strong and innovative leaders. My colleague, Zachary Durst, and I recently had the opportunity to share our thoughts…



New Medical Schools Require Visionaries and Risk-Takers as Leaders

By Jeffrey Schroetlin

An increasing number of health systems are partnering with or launching their own medical schools. They are doing so to keep up with a demand for physicians brought about by the retirement of baby boomer doctors as well as increasing populations and greater need for healthcare in general. Healthcare systems see their own medical schools as an opportunity to address this need for physicians at a local level and even to build their own prestige and reputations…