Past medical staff leaders

Don't overlook the benefits of turning to past medical staff leaders to help resolve conflicts. This pool of former medical staff leaders represents a wealth of talent and experience that should not be overlooked as a resource. Many of the individuals in this pool possess excellent leadership characteristics and have acquired extensive experience over many years on the staff. In many cases, they have gone through the challenges of leadership that are recurring events—investigations and corrective action, fair hearings, addressing impaired or disruptive physicians, resolving disputes between physicians and management, fighting medical staff apathy, and struggling to improve communication.

Former medical staff leaders can be marshaled for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • Enticing new physicians to consider leadership roles
  • Mentoring current leaders
  • Serving as chairs and resources to ad hoc task forces
  • Comprising the membership of fair hearing panels
  • Leading formal investigations that may lead to corrective action
  • Acting as a mediator in current medical staff disputes

In some cases, former leaders had exhausting terms in office and require a period to re-energize following the burn out that may have occurred. This can take a variable period of time and it may be some time before they will consider once again devoting energy to medical staff tasks. However, some leaders never lose their enthusiasm to participate in the problem-solving work of the medical staff and continue to have energy that could be capitalized upon by current leaders. It is important that when recruiting new medical staff leaders, they are informed that they may be asked to play future roles as experienced/senior members of the medical staff. This clearly establishes the expectation that they may be contacted in the future with requests for assistance.