Are You Paying Enough Attention to Physician Engagement?

January 31, 2019

With a predicted shortage of physicians over the next several years, and increasing concern over physician burnout, a group of savvy thought leaders are focusing on improving physician satisfaction and engagement.

Physicians are responsible for making most decisions related to patient care. Yet medical staff members often aren’t involved in the broader decision-making process around their organization’s daily operations. This can result in a lack of physician engagement, which has been a pressing problem in the medical field in recent years.

Dianne McCallister, chief medical officer, Medical Center of Aurora

Dianne McCallister, chief medical officer, Medical Center of Aurora

“If the physicians who do all of the work are not involved in the decision-making process, you aren’t going to get far,” explains Dianne McCallister, chief medical officer, Medical Center of Aurora in Colorado. More than a decade ago, after recognizing this industry-wide disconnect, she decided to make it her mission to try to change things.

McCallister is not alone in this quest. She recently joined forces with other chief medical officers and thought leaders on the National Physician Leadership Council, formed in 2016 by Private Health News (PHN), to share best practices and ideas for physician communication and engagement.

Additionally, at the Medical Center of Aurora, McCallister tries to help physicians feel more valued and understood so they will have more ownership and a larger voice in the way things are run.

“As it turns out, physicians aren’t that hard to engage, but we are trained to make decisions using a medical framework, which means we do the best we can in the moment for the patient, rather than taking a broader business approach,” McCallister says. Therefore, the medical staff and the administration are often speaking two different languages.

Read more: Why Physician Engagement Is an Essential Part of Your Health System’s Equation

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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