The ranks of physicians and nurses in the C-suite are growing, but aspiring leaders must be prepared for strategic roles.
As healthcare systems strive to improve outcomes and reduce costs amid the shift toward value-based care, more senior leadership positions are being occupied by physicians, nurses, and other clinicians-turned-executives.
For more insight into clinicians' growing prevalence in the C-suite, I spoke with Linda J. Komnick, MHA, and Christine Mackey-Ross, RN, BSN, MBA, both with the Illinois-based executive search firm Witt/Kieffer.
The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
HLM: What are some of your general observations about this trend?
Komnick: We've seen a significant shift in executive leadership bringing a clinical voice to the table. Systems today are looking for physician leaders who understand the full continuum of care, how to optimize funds throughout the organization, managing risk. They're really seen as the catalyst to guide the transformation we're all experiencing of volume to value.
Mackey-Ross: They're real executive jobs now. If you had a chair of a department 10 years ago, for example, that person's emphasis was really programmatic on recruiting physicians, the research component, maybe the education component in a community hospital setting.
Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.