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…

In Healthcare, Interim Executives Fill a Strategic Leadership Need

The following is a conversation between Witt/Kieffer president and CEO Andrew Chastain and Brian Krehbiel, leader of the new Witt/Kieffer Interim Leadership practice.

Chastain: Over the past 25 years, I’ve noticed the use of interim executive leadership in healthcare has changed. What’s different?

Krehbiel: It was about 25…

2018 AHA Leadership Summit: Up Close and Personal with Real Issues

By Dilpreet Lidhar

This year’s annual American Hospital Association (AHA) Leadership Summit, which was held in sunny San Diego, focused on advancing affordable care and promoting value. Senior executives, physician leaders and trustees from the nation’s leading hospitals and health systems were able to discuss the critical challenges facing their organizations. It was…

Dr. Latha Sivaprasad: Making Leadership a Lifetime Priority

Dr. Latha Sivaprasad has always had an interest in leadership. Even before high school, college and medical school, she took an interest in working with others to find creative solutions to problems. Today, as Chief Medical Officer of Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital – and as a practicing internist, associate professor in the Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, board member of the Rhode Island Medical Women’s Association (RIMWA), and in other roles – she seeks to make a…

For Physician Leaders, Keeping a Strong, Healthy Clinical Staff Is Job One

A lot is being asked of physician leaders in today’s hospitals, health systems, and medical groups. On the growing list of administrative roles that physician leaders play, recruiting, mentoring and retaining an engaged and dynamic clinical staff is at or near the top.

The ability of physicians to expertly oversee other physicians is a topic that Witt/Kieffer consultant Carl Fitch encounters almost daily. In recruiting up-and-coming executives for…

Career Building: How Physician Leaders Can Stand Out

By Daniel Dimenstein

As healthcare systems across the country embark on their journeys from “volume to value,” there is more pressure than ever being placed on physicians to create that value for their patients. Whether those physicians are in private practice or are employed by health systems, those pressures are coming from all directions with no signs of letting up. Some physicians are looking to leave clinical practice and…

Best Practices Resource: Recruiting and Developing Physician Leaders

The following is the introduction to our newly published, complimentary best practices guidebook: “Recruiting and Developing Physician Leaders”.

The demand for physician leadership in healthcare has never been greater. Physician executives can add a strong clinical perspective to determining the strategic and operational imperatives of today’s healthcare organizations. Physician leaders bring the viewpoint of population health…

Physician Executives: A Resume Can Make the Difference

By Stephen C. Davis

I have participated in many physician CEO and physician executive recruitments recently, and quite often applicants who relied on a traditional CV to communicate their qualifications for the position didn’t come across as physician leaders. Though we receive many robust and impressive CVs detailing a candidate’s education, administrative titles, and clinical, research and teaching credentials, we aren’t always able to determine what leadership impact—to market share, operations, quality, clinical outcomes, and financials—the candidate…

Physician Executives: How to Be Savvy in a Leadership Interview

By Sue A. LeGrand

The demand for physician leaders remains high as institutions continue to recognize the need for individuals to guide their organizations through today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape. Despite fierce competition for qualified candidates, a strong clinical background and impressive educational resume aren’t enough to secure a position. Even the most sought-after candidates…

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?