relationship between physicians and management

There is a “love-hate” relationship between hospitals and the physician members of the medical staff. This is due to a high level of mistrust between the medical staff and the management structure of the hospitals. A root cause of the problem is the educational differences between doctors and executives. Doctors are trained to focus on a specific problem, as opposed to a more global, holistic perspective in which executives are often trained. Thus, it is important to have an understanding of the psychology of physicians to determine the most appropriate leadership and team-building approaches for evolving healthcare organizations.

Another unique aspect of the hospital structure is the triad of power that exists. The medical staff, in general, is a self-governing, independent body that functions under a set of bylaws. Yet in most states, the hospital board of trustees is liable for the actions of the medical staff, both financially and legally. Therefore, the board must oversee medical staff activities. The hospital administrator/chief executive officer (CEO) must also keep the medical staff happy so that the work will be done and the hospital beds will be utilized.

Physicians must continue to adapt to new organizational structures, from small to large group practices, such as accountable care organizations (ACO) and medical practice homes, as well as evolving standards of practice such as evidence-based medicine. All of these factors require physicians to develop new skill sets that many of them were not initially trained in. Physicians also must become familiar with new complex issues, regulations, and laws. Medical practices face complex legal and regulatory issues, and failure to recognize these issues can to lead to criminal and civil penalties.

For the Discussion this week, you will diagnose the causes of relationship success and failure between hospital leadership and medical staff.

Post an analysis of the relationship between hospital leadership and physician medical staff and its implications for effective healthcare management. In your analysis, address the following:

  • Explain why the triad of power exists in healthcare organizations.
  • Propose steps and recommendations to facilitate a better long-term working relationship within the context of this triad of power.
  • Assess the challenges of working in a multidisciplinary team setting. What types of management models, leadership training, and team-building skills would be suitable for this dynamic within a healthcare organization? What about within a global and/or multicultural team and environment?

Be sure to support your work with a minimum of two specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and one or more additional scholarly sources.

Burns, L. R., Bradley, E. H., Weiner, B. J., & Shortell, S. M. (2012). Shortell and Kaluzny’s health care management: Organization, design, and behavior. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar/Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter 1, “The Management Challenge of Delivering Value in Health Care: Global and U.S. Perspectives” (pp. 2–32)
  • Chapter 2, “Leadership and Management: A Framework for Action” (pp. 33–62

Sanford, K. D. (2016). The five questions of physician leadership. Frontiers of Health Services Management, 32(3), 39–45. Retrieved from…

Lee, T. H., & Hall, K. W. (2010). Turning doctors into leaders. Harvard Business Review, 88(4), 50–58. Retrieved from

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