Physician Leadership

  • Carl E. Heltne
  • James G. Brueggemann


Health systems led by physicians, as domain experts, are able to deliver higher quality care than can other systems of care. Cancer treatment programs should look to physician leadership as a critical component of their effort to improve quality. Physician leaders benefit from knowledge of leadership skills common to leaders of other organizations. Using the knowledge in the literature on leadership and the experience of physician leaders, this chapter examines characteristics of physician leadership, what physician leaders do, and how they succeed, using the framework of leading oneself, leading others, and leading the organization. Specifically discussed is the role of physician leaders in the work of clinical teams they lead. The dyad model of a physician leader paired with an administrative leader enhances development of solutions to common clinical quality and operational challenges arising in health systems.


Physician leadership Quadruple aim Leadership in health systems Definitions of leadership Leadership of self Leadership of others Leadership of organizations Organization culture change Physician autonomy Dyad leadership model Leadership success 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl E. Heltne
    • 1
  • James G. Brueggemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus PhysicianEssentia HealthDuluthUSA

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