5 Tips for Remembering That It’s Great to Be a Physician! (No Matter What the Internet Says)

burnout reportAre you part of the 46% of physicians reporting burnout?

We are here to help.


Bundled payments, value-based transitions, service-line challenges, ACO requirements, ICD-10, meaningful use requirements…the healthcare landscape is changing daily and continues to present challenges. Some of these new requirements seem to be changing the very fabric of what it once meant to be a physician!

And every time we go online lately, we are seeing headlines and statistics about how healthcare providers are fed up and burning out.

There is much to be learned from the current swell of physician burnout and dissatisfaction coverage online. These issues must be acknowledged and addressed by healthcare leaders, and their impact on quality and cost of care cannot be underestimated.


A New Level of Transparency through Online Channels

A positive by-product of this high frustration is the new level of transparency physicians are now willing to provide via social media with their peers. In some contexts, this interaction can contributes to their professional development and well-being. It can also open the door to a progressive dialogue between patients and healthcare providers that often can’t happen face-to-face, one where patients can glean insight into what their providers are challenged by. Interestingly:

“Transparency online has become the avenue of choice, with “2/3 of doctors using social media for professional purposes, often preferring an open forum as opposed to a physician-only online community.”

(source: EMR Thoughts)

We applaud those physicians who are reaching out for support from peers and sharing their experiences with the public through social media as they navigate the current terrain of healthcare. A recent study by the Journal of Medical Research stated that 85% of oncologists and primary care physicians currently use social media, with much of that energy focused on professional development. These powerful channels for sharing information and experiences are in our pockets! What a great opportunity to feel connected!

Lately, though, you may be feeling bombarded with reports and social media posts telling you why it’s a terrible to be a physician today. So what happens when you go online to seek information and connection, but end up feeling worse?


How can you take the barrage of negative reports in stride AND use social media to share experiences in a way that benefits you?

We’ve got some tips!

5 Tips for Remembering That It’s Great to Be a Physician!

(No Matter What the Internet Says)

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Remember your purpose.
  The lack of face-face interaction online can tempt us all to vent in ways we otherwise would not. While forums may appear to provide a safe way to let off steam, evidence repeatedly shows that venting simply doesn’t work to alleviate stress. It actually increases stress in ourselves and others reading it.

When you know your purpose is to seek helpful information and positive connection, you can easily navigate those who are going down the rabbit-hole of negativity.

Invest time in a mentor or coach.
  Any champion athlete will tell you that positive visualizations lead to positive action! Fostering a relationship with a mentor will keep you focused on what’s going right and committed to solving for what’s wrong. This professional relationship will make it far less tempting to look for answers online from unverified sources.

No mentor in sight? Our expert coaches are available for one-on-one calls to help you define what success looks like to you, and focus your energy on making it a reality.

Continually create shared meaning.

Surround yourself with people who seek to advance positive and progressive dialogue in healthcare (whether online or in person). Seek and follow effective examples of creating shared responsibilities through a matrix for success.

Remember that while providing healthcare feels like a race, it is truly a marathon.

Sprinting is necessary at times, but you must remain focused on a steady pace, a continual mapping of the terrain, and a commitment to your self-care for the long-term.

This only strategy that wins!

Limit online time to that which serves your professional practice AND your personal well-being.



It’s essential to remain informed, but we urge you to give yourself permission to have a curated and balanced diet of information that serves to make your day and your practice better. Seek only sources of information and connection that improve your understanding, and to helping you examine and remove any shackles you are perceiving in times of doubt.

The result: a productive, positive frame of mind!

At the Physician Leadership Institute, your well-being is our mission.

Need some help to stay positive? Reach out to us.

We connect you to people, tools, skills, and resources that help create physician happiness!

We are here to help keep you in touch with the human being side of yourself, not just the human doing. Our intent is to re-connect you to why you became a physician, remind you of your vast potential as a physician leader, and support you on your journey.

And we want to hear from you!

How do you stay focused on why it is great to be a physician?

Share it with us on Twitter @MD_Leaderist and use #physicianhappiness

Leadership and Engagement at Lee Memorial Health System

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Leadership and Engagement at Lee Memorial Health System

On August 19, 2015, twenty-seven professionals from Lee Memorial Health System became fellows of the Physician Leadership Institute. These graduates began their journey of transformational leadership twelve month ago and now have the leadership skills and tools that will enable them to Lead with Purpose, Lead with Strategy, Lead Self, Lead People, and Lead for Results. Tangible improvements were seen in the participants’ ability to effectively lead by example, drive results, develop internal teams and collaboration, lead change and foster innovation, think strategically and make sound decisions, and manage conflict in a constructive manner. Other specific performance improvements included:

  1. personal leadership effectiveness
  2. ability to communicate with and positively influence others
  3. ability to increase staff morale and engagement, and
  4. a willingness to serve as a leader in their organization.
  5. A willingness to engage and collaborate with others

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The Fellows demonstrated engagement, collaboration and leadership on key organizational and strategic projects they worked on as teams during the fellowship, including:
  1. Improve Patient Satisfaction: Focused on ensuring communication of all test results in a timely manner and improve patient care and satisfaction as measured by CG-CAHPS scores.
  2. Patient Pre-Visit Planning, Safety and Efficiency: Aimed to expand the implementation of MyChart questionnaires to improve patient and care team satisfaction, maintaining a focus on patient safety, improving the patient experience, and to improving the morale of the care team.
  3. The Role of a Physician Leader in the Care Team: This project asked, “Does Frontline Physician Leadership make a difference?” across the organization (answer: yes!) and designed a Video Engagement Tool to inspire physicians to become frontline leaders
  4. Right Care, Right Time, Right Place: Develop Criteria for Assessment for Inpatient Placement of Pediatric Patients to the Medical Unit and PICU: Explored scoring system effectiveness to address the lack of standardized evaluation & treatment for admission of Pediatric Respiratory Patients, aiming to ensure the right care at the right time in the right place.
  5. Aligning Physician Compensation: Identified key principles of compensation that will motivate and reward high quality physicians; attracting and retaining compassionate, caring providers for our community.


 “As leaders, we must be vigilant about encouraging, creating, and commanding within our organization the necessary changes that will allow the organization to thrive. Leadership is far more about humility than it is about position, title, or authority. It really is about influence and engaging followers.”

– Dr. Scott D. Nygaard, CMO Physicians Services and Network Development, Lee Physicians Group, Lee Memorial Health System

About Lee Memorial Health System

Lee Memorial Health System is the largest public, not for profit health system in Florida. Originally formed in 1916, it is now comprised of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals with over one million patient contacts per year, as well as outpatient and primary care offices, totaling over 2,000 providers.

About Lee Memorial Physician Leadership Institute

Lee Memorial Health System engaged the Center for Transformation and Innovation to create and deliver a comprehensive leadership transformation program for its physicians and administrators. This unique effort was a part of their cultural transformation journey that improved leadership skills in team relations, strategic planning, leading for results, and healthcare systems thinking.


Transformation through Integrated Leadership: The Baystate Health Leadership Institute



The Baystate Health Leadership Institute


On August 11, twenty participants of the inaugural Baystate Health Leadership Institute graduated as the Class of 2015. The Baystate Health Leadership Institute was a journey that enriched the participants at a personal and professional level, and demonstrated Baystate Health’s ongoing commitment to excellence in healthcare through the investment in and development of current and future leaders. They were commended for “bringing health care out of the hospital and into the community” and boldly moving forward together to:

  1. Effectively Lead Themselves
  2. Envision the Future
  3. Engage Their Teams and Stakeholders
  4. Execute to Deliver Tangible Results
The Fellows demonstrated engagement, collaboration and leadership on key organizational and strategic projects they worked on as teams during the fellowship including:
  1. Transition of Care: Created a high value, post-acute care transition model to improve the health of surrounding communities with a goal to be recognized as a leader in using e-visit technology for transition of care home visits.
  2. Same –Day Mammography: System integration project focused on developing an efficient, consistent and patient- centered model of care for same-day screening mammography results.
  3. Patient Experience: Strategic alignment project focused on a process that allows leaders to assess how employees link their work to the system goal of providing exceptional experiences for patients and families.


 “Committed to providing the best care possible, our employees developed the phrase ‘Together we deliver a higher state of caring.’ It’s a reflection of who we are and what we aspire to as an organization.”

– Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH, President & CEO Baystate Health

About Baystate Health

Baystate Health is a not-for-profit, mission-driven, integrated health system serving a population of over 750,000 people in communities across western Massachusetts.  Baystate Health has been providing skilled and compassionate health care in the Pioneer Valley for more than 140 years.


About Baystate Health Leadership Institute

Baystate Health’s mission “to improve the health of the people in our communities every day with quality and compassion” is at the core of the organization’s daily work and long-term strategy. One of their core values is the advancement of knowledge, with an ongoing commitment to educate and train current and future caregivers to meet patients’ needs for years to come. Baystate Health recognized the talents and skills of both administrators and physicians, working together, was necessary for continued organizational success. The driving goal of The Baystate Health Leadership Institute (BHLI) was to deliver a higher state of caring by leading with courage.



Want Change? Physician Empowerment = Physician Engagement

We’ve said it before and we will say it again:

over 70% of change initiatives fail.

In 1995, John Kotter published research that revealed only 30 percent of change programs are successful. In 2008, a McKinsey & Company survey of business executives indicates that the percent of change programs that are a success today was still…30%. The numbers today aren’t much better. A survey conducted by AHA shows that barriers to change are most disconcerting in the areas of physician engagement and buy-in and organizational barriers to collaboration.

hhn aha

Obstacles hospitals leader identify as barriers to achieving strategic priorities http://bit.ly/1ItPM2i

With all of these barriers, how can positive change happen in healthcare? How can we beat these odds together on Integrated Teams?

With Physicians who are empowered through leadership education, and as a result, engaged in making change happen as a collaborative process at every level of the organization!

Let’s shift the paradigm of Clinician as Individual Contributor to Clinician as Change Agent.

Change Agents aren’t token “champions” acting as lone wranglers of a herd:

  1. They are trained and utilized as leaders engaging staff at every level.
  2. They are agile strategists empowered to identify and make simple, iterative improvements that lead to lasting results.
  3. They are encouraged to have a growth mindset of progress over perfection
  4. They are well-supported by executive leadership sponsors and administrators


We urge senior leadership to invest in developing their physician leaders to be agents of change. In return, physicians must also accept themselves as change leaders, regardless of their actual job title!

The Physician Leadership Institute provides education and tools for Physician Leaders to not only make transformation happen, but to make it stick. We offer concise but comprehensive strategy maps and other essential education for change agents, including the PLI Change Framework. Note the upfront emphasis on terrain mapping and stakeholder analysis and the iterative design that is inherent to a circular process:


Physician Empowerment = Engagement

Physicians truly hold the key that opens the door to transformation in healthcare delivery. How will you empower them through leadership development, and engage them to lead change in your organization?

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

     — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


We look forward to hearing from you!

3 Steps to Go from Dependency-based to Leadership-based Communication

Physician leaders, how are you showing up at work?

To your senior leadership? To your leadership partners? To your staff?

show up

This classic article by Harvard thought leader Nancy Koehn perfectly illustrates how your presence affects your effectiveness. How you “show up” matters as much as any decision you make throughout the day and must be examined. It will manifest itself in how well you can manage up, down, and sideways in all of your daily operations.

Think about the words you use to approach (or avoid) interactions with others.

Do you use dependency-based language, or the language of leadership?

You can evolve your communication style from one of dependency, that results in low-quality, reactive relationships, to one of leadership that results in high-quality, proactive relationships.

Flip the script from dependency to leadership language in your interactions with others, whether you are managing up, sideways, or down!

3 Steps to Go from Dependency-based to Leadership-based

PLI provides emerging leaders with courses and coaching in developing an executive presence, using leadership-based language, and courageous conversations! 

To learn more about how you most effectively can show up as a physician leader, please see our customized services and solutions in Leading with Purpose, Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading with Strategy, and Leading for Results.

leadership skills

“We are what we repeatedly do.” ~ Aristotle

How will you show up differently today?



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