Preparing academic medical department physicians to lead: Maximizing administrative effectiveness in healthcare

Arlin Robinson, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This case study details the establishment of a leadership development course for clinically trained administrators of academic medical departments in the Texas Medical Center. There is a compelling need for successful healthcare administrators, given the clear influence that organizational effectiveness has on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. This report applied a narrative literature review to explore the issue of physician leadership in healthcare, and the incentive behind course creation. The study also relies on interviews of program developers for insight on program development. The background investigation revealed an increasing number of physician managers despite their general lack of fundamental management skills. The shortfalls of clinician leaders are largely due to underexposure to core leadership competencies during medical school. There is a particular need for development opportunities for current and future leaders of academic medical institutions since medical doctors often exclusively assume these positions. The dearth of research regarding physician administrators is a limitation of this study. The Academic Medical Departmental Leadership program currently offers valuable management skills training that standard medical training overlooks, and much of it is adaptable to physician management and leadership positions in all healthcare settings. While the course is a response to local concerns, the study offers a generalizable approach to addressing the demand for skilled, physician mangers.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Robinson, Arlin, "Preparing academic medical department physicians to lead: Maximizing administrative effectiveness in healthcare" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1566284.