Physicians As Team Leaders

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Physicians As Team Leaders




Primarily, physicians are accustomed to being in a one-on-one relationship with the patient. This model of clinical care is taught from medical school through clinical training. Leadership skills were not formally part of the training of physicians, and yet the changing healthcare landscape, with its complexities and emphasis on teams, requires physicians to increasingly assume leadership roles.

Essential elements of being the leader of a team include being able to use effective communication styles, manage and resolve conflict and mentor and coach other members of the team. When all of these elements are fine-tuned, the performance of the team is optimized and superior to the sum of the individuals.

Leadership styles:

Laissez-faire  Participative or democratic  Autocratic 
  • Irregular activity
  • Weak leadership
  • Sizable inter-follower interaction
  • Autonomous sub-leaders
  • Little motivation or motivation that is independent of overall organization mission and goals
  • Strong leadership, but with feedback from followers
  • Collaborative relationships between supervisor and subordinate
  • Inspired performance motivation
  • Fear-based performance motivation
  • Feedback is from top-down only
  • One-way influence
  • Punishment oriented