Medical Director Training: Skills for Successful Clinical Leadership

Leadership development is a critical component to the success of any organization. ApolloMD offers opportunities for physicians to grow into clinical leadership roles through medical director training. Our medical directors are offered various educational opportunities to sharpen their skills throughout their tenure with the organization.

Success as a medical director requires more than outstanding clinical skills. There are a variety of elements that determine effectiveness and below are some key characteristics great leaders possess:

Communication – a constant in every aspect of our world.

As a clinical leader, you are in constant communication with patients, your physician team, nursing staff, other department leaders, hospital administration – the list goes on. To be an effective communicator, know your facts, be concise and address issues directly. Learn how your team prefers communication – one-on-one meetings, email, webinars or a combination of them all.

Coaching Matters – build your team up.

Many physicians are accustomed to treating patients, but not to providing constructive criticism to others. The best medical directors provide ongoing feedback to their clinical teams. Bad news doesn’t get better with age, so be honest and direct with your team. If something is going well, let them know. If there is room for improvement, show them ways to make it better. Always use coaching opportunities to provide guidance, not to tear down individuals.

Influencing Others – relationship building at its finest.

To create positive change across the department and hospital, medical directors must possess the ability to influence others – to bring them around to your way of thinking. Building strong, positive relationships with hospital leaders is crucial to the success of any department. Set the expectations and walk the walk.

Ability to Engage their Teams – be the motivation.

The strongest clinical leaders inspire those around them and create a culture of productivity where each team member is striving to provide the best patient care and most efficient work possible. As a leader, roll up your shirt sleeves and get to know how your teams work. Provide insight on upcoming changes and encourage involvement on out-of-the-ordinary projects. Ask for input from your team and use them as sounding boards for initiatives and process improvement. “Treat employees like they make a difference and they will,” -Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS.

Continue to Learn – find ways to stay current.

Providing ongoing development and learning opportunities is something ApolloMD Medical Directors receive through our Leadership Academy and Annual Leadership conference. Become actively involved in medical societies within the community you serve, as well as boards and non-profits. A person who never stops learning is a person who stays on top.

To learn more about how ApolloMD strengthens the skills of our medical directors and other leaders, check out an overview of our Leadership Academy by clicking here.
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