Five Musts for Recruiting, Retaining Physician Leaders: Part 2

Posted on Wed, Oct 09, 2013

This is part 2 in a series developed by Dr. Joel Stern addressing the Five Musts for Recruiting, Retaining Physicians. In this 2-part series, EmCare's South Division executive vice president Joel Stern, MD, FACEP, FAAEM shares the secret to identify and develop strong physician leaders. Click here to read Part 1.

Lateral leadership

Physician leaders must be capable of making the transition from directing patient care to directing teams.  Expectations and duties evolve to influencing outside the boundaries of patient care. Physician leaders will work with multi-faceted groups of people ranging from interdisciplinary committees to the hospital Board.  The varying organizational relationships are no longer hierarchical.  The horizontal versus vertical reporting structure requires an even greater ability to explain, collaborate, persuade and inspire. Plan to excel at the art of lateral leadership.

Interdepartmental and lateral leadership, or leading those who do not report to you, is important for achieving a successfully integrated health care delivery system.

Organizational leadership

At one time, hospital departments had become so specialized that they tended to work in isolation from other departments.  Each department had an internal focus ignoring the fact that the patient viewed the hospital experience as a whole.  Now all realize no one department works in a vacuum and patient-centered care and processes are now the focus.  Each department must learn to function as an integrated part of the health care delivery system.

For example, if you have a backlog in the emergency department, everyone understands that you can’t fix the E.D. problem without all departments working together.  Something as simple as housekeeping being short-staffed one night can lead to patients boarding longer in the E.D. Creating the greatest efficiency starts with looking at the process from the person’s home, to pre-hospital, to the E.D., to admitted, the transition back to home, etc.  The more people who are working together to achieve the same goals, the more efficient the process becomes which impacts patient care.  Great physician leaders are able to develop shared visions and promote collaboration to achieve system wide goals.

OLP_3364.jpgAbout Dr. Stern: Joel Stern, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, serves as an executive vice president with EmCare’s South Division.  His experience in clinical leadership roles includes various medical director and assistant director positions in hospitals ranging from moderate volume suburban settings to high volume urban sites. Dr. Stern is a past president and founder of the Florida State Chapter of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (FLAAEM) and currently serves as a Past Presidents Council Representative for the FLAAEM Board of Directors.  He is also on the Board of Directors of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians where he has held numerous leadership positions.


Five Musts for Recruiting, Retaining Physician Leaders: Part 1

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