Study Identifies Best Ways for Medical Centers to Recruit Clinical Program Leaders

Study on leadership qualifications and qualities in health care organizations

In 2003, investigators at The Bard Group, a Boston-area health care consulting firm, examined the selection process for clinical program leaders at US academic medical centers. To carry out the study, they conducted a literature review and interviewed 68 individuals at 13 centers.

Key Recommendations

  • Before initiating a recruitment process for a new service line leader, academic medical centers should seek internal consensus around five questions:

    • What are the strategic objectives of the services line?
    • At what stage of development is the service line?
    • What specific goals must the new service line leader accomplish?
    • How should the role be structured and resourced to ensure the leader has the authority needed to accomplish these goals?
    • What characteristics and capabilities will the leader need to accomplish these goals within this structure?
  • Search committees should recognize that effective leadership in academic medical centers requires striking a balance between the leader's organizational power (i.e., authority within the organization) and personal leadership capability.

  • Critical elements of the leader's role and authority should be determined beforehand by the organization's leadership, not negotiated with the candidate during the recruitment.