Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Physicians in Healthcare Leadership Should Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk

I firmly believe that physicians in healthcare leadership should continue to see patients, and so do the authors of this recent opinion article in the Annals of Internal Medicine.       

The reasons are multiple. Being truly informed about the 'state of things' on the ground is critical. Front line healthcare workers have a perspective and awareness that simply cannot be learned any other way. To understand how a medical organization functions one needs to be present, seeing patients in the clinic or in the hospital. Relying on 'memory' from prior clinical practice does not work, much like expecting a fine athletic performance while no longer engaging in physical training.

Clinical credibility is also huge and can only be obtained through direct patient care. Last, seeing patients is personally fulfilling. Isn't that why we went into medicine after all? Now, all this takes effort and makes for long days but few worthwhile things come easy.

Physician leaders in healthcare should talk the talk and walk the walk