You are the chief executive officer of a  350-bed community hospital in the Midwest. You have 42 full-time active  medical staff members and 57 courtesy medical staff members. These  doctors certainly think and act differently than the managers on your  staff, but you must work closely with them, and you must lead them to  participate in the hospital’s strategic plan. Your success depends upon  this. How will you lead physicians most effectively? What can you do to  achieve effective leadership and engagement of physicians?

Your journal entry must be at least 200 words in length. No references or citations are necessary. 

HCA 3301, Health Care Management 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit V

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

6. Compare and contrast leadership approaches for personnel in health care.
6.1 Explain the key theories and models for leading in health care organizations.
6.2 Describe the key theories and models for motivation in health care.


Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity

Unit Lesson
Chapter 9
Unit V Project

Unit Lesson
Chapter 10
Unit V Project

Required Unit Resources

Chapter 9: Leading: Theories and Models

Chapter 10: Leading: Motivating and Influencing

Unit Lesson

Physicians and Hospitals—Leading and Motivating Doctors Today

The relationship between hospitals and physicians has always been important, and it has always been
somewhat challenging. Today, it takes even more planning and effort because of the changing financial
relationships that are involved.

What Makes it Work Today?

There was a time when physicians and hospitals truly did function at arm’s length, and they liked it that way.
Hanging out the shingle saying, “open for practice” and going into business for oneself, that was a time-
honored tradition in medicine. Perhaps the best thing about that shingle is—no boss. Nobody telling the
doctor how to practice medicine, nobody telling the doctor how to run their office. It really was great for a very
long time, but things have certainly changed. More than ever before doctors and hospitals must be on the
same page, working together, for the clinical and financial success of the organization.

Multiple factors drove doctors out of independent practice and into employment relationships. The cost of
obtaining malpractice insurance coverage was a big one. The complexity of human resource law, and the
downside risk of hiring and firing was another, coupled with the doctor’s inability to provide benefits such as
health insurance; disability coverage; and retirement at a reasonable cost for themselves, family, and staff. All
of these were factors.

Looking at the Numbers

American Medical Association (AMA) survey data for 2019 reveal that employed physicians now outnumber
private practice. The AMA’s Practice Benchmarks Survey demonstrated that 47% of all physicians in 2018

Leading in Health Care

HCA 3301, Health Care Management 2


were employed, compared with 46% of doctors who were in independent practice. Employed physicians are
up by 6% since 2012 (Gallegos, 2019).

To better understand the trend, please note that younger physicians and female physicians are considerably
more likely than older and male doctors. Today, 70% of physicians under age 40 are employees. The