Leadership is the quality of seeing further than others and leading them down a certain path, all the while inspiring them to follow suit. Research shows that leadership skills are essential to physicians insofar as it changes the way they view their practice, their patients, and the way they do things. Despite this, leadership development is not emphasized enough in medical school.
The thing is that, in the ever-changing healthcare landscape, leadership could very well play an integral role in shaping how we care for our patients. Below, you’ll find 3 things you can start applying today that will make you a better leader!
Become a Better Leader by Doing These 3 Things
Dr. John Franko, the President of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, talks about 3 things that are integral to creating a great leader from a “mere” physician:
- An understanding of finances
That’s right, a leader has to have some understanding of finances. Where the money comes from and where it goes, in an overly-simplified manner. The medical sector is also a business, with tools and medication costing money, and patients bringing in money. A physician shouldn’t only focus on practicing their craft but also understand the business side of medicine to better serve their patients.
Dr. Frank had this to say about it: “If a spreadsheet looks like Greek to you and you don’t read or write Greek, you need to learn how to do that. It looks complicated, but it’s not much different from balancing a checkbook. Know where the money comes from and where the money goes. If you understand that, you can look at a spreadsheet.”
- Heightened emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the undeniably crowned quality of a good leader. Understanding the way people think and act, why they do certain things, and empathizing with them, is what allows leaders to inspire and lead. Emotional intelligence can foster a solid trust-based relationship with your patient and lead to more efficient communication, which leads to better outcomes.
While IQ is important, it pales in comparison with EQ, according to Dr. Franko. Most importantly, unlike IQ, EQ can be worked on and developed over time. Everyone can become more receptive to other people’s plights and problems, and learn to react accordingly, in a more sympathetic manner.
- Having a coach
Accept the fact that the learning process never stops. Whether you learn about new medical techniques or treatments, or someone advises you on how to interact with patients, it can only help you. Let yourself be surrounded by constructive criticism and varied perspectives because those can help you evolve and obtain a more expansive view of medical practice and not only.
General Douglas MacArthur once said that “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” Words backed by actions define a true leader, and the good thing is that leaders are never born. They are made!
Shifting the Paradigm of Family Medicine Through Physician Leadership
Leadership is far from being as emphasized as it should be in the training of physicians today. The spirit of initiative, forward-thinking, inspirational actions, all of these can bring substantial benefits to patients and the medical industry as a whole. But leadership isn’t self-assumed but earned, won, and gained through hard work and earning the trust of others.
To do that, physicians can simply strive to do better every day. If you’re interested in learning more about our leadership-based approach, you can call Primary Medical Care Center at (305) 751-1500 or request an appointment online if you’re interested in learning more about this approach!