The title of this HealthLeaders Magazine article caught my eye: Building the Best Physician Team. It caught my eye because I don't think you would have seen such an article 20, 10 or possiby even 10 years ago. Used to be, you tried to find the best trained physician, with the best credentials and add him or her to the mix. You were usually helping an independent group to recruit with the hopes they'd end up aligned with your hospital. That was it.
Now, you see articles about building a physician "team," and about your physician "workforce" and what it takes to lead, and finding physicians who are good collaborators and communicators. This new focus has come upon us pretty quickly, as hospitals move to employ more physicians and expect those physicians to work with them in a world of healthcare reform.
The challenge is that medical education and training has not necessarily kept up. If you find a skilled clinician who happens to also have some business acumen, the ability to collaborate, adapt to change, to innovate and be a transformational leader - you got lucky.
This article points out that some organizations are trying to be more deliberate in building their physician team. We've also found that the science of selection that works with other professionals and with executives can also be applied to physicians. We can re-think the physician interview process to explore the behavioral competencies we've identified as critical to success. We can use proven assessment tools to predict which physicians are most likely to display disruptive behavior, to collaborate, and to engage patients in their care.
The challenge is that hospitals are using outdated methods to identify physicians with the right cultural fit. They are still relying on unstructured interviews, CV reviews and references - even though these prove - over and over again - to be poor predictors.