NEJM Catalyst Insights Report: Physician-Administrator Shared Leadership Models are 85% Effective in Health Care Organizations

News · August 17, 2017

NEJM Catalyst

Interpersonal skills outpace administrative skills, clinical training, and negotiation skills as the top leadership attribute to successfully lead health care organizations and physicians.


WALTHAM, MASSACHUSETTS – August 17, 2017 – Shared leadership between physicians and administrators is in high use by health care organizations and considered extremely effective, very effective, or effective by 85% of respondents, according to the recent NEJM Catalyst Insights Report “Leading Physicians and Physician Leadership”.

NEJM Catalyst Insights Reports are based on surveys of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a qualified group of U.S. executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians at organizations directly involved in health care delivery. They focus on four key areas: Care Redesign, Leadership, Patient Engagement, and the New Marketplace.

Just over 70% of Insights Council members say they use the dyad leadership model, which is a combination of business and clinical leaders, and 50% find it extremely effective or very effective.

“Changes in the complexity of the health care landscape and a move toward value-based care are pushing organizations to include physicians in leadership structures once dominated by MBA CEOs,” says Stephen Swensen, MD, MMM, FACR, Medical Director for Professionalism and Peer Support at Intermountain Healthcare and Leadership theme advisor for NEJM Catalyst.

These changes also have shot interpersonal skills to the top of the list of attributes necessary to successfully lead health care organizations and physicians today. Interpersonal skills, which 82% of respondents choose as top attribute to lead health care organizations and 90% choose as top attribute to lead physicians, rank higher than administrative skills, clinical training, and negotiation skills, which all scored 69% or lower.

Just over half of respondents (53%) think physicians make better leaders of health care organizations than non-clinical leaders.

For more on the NEJM Catalyst Insights Report on Leadership, visit: An index of all NEJM Catalyst Insights Reports can be found here:


About NEJM Catalyst

NEJM Catalyst offers a combination of multimedia content, web events, expert panels, and new research. NEJM Catalyst connects health care executives, clinical leaders, and clinicians with practical approaches and actionable steps to implement changes in their organizations that improve the value of health care delivery and patient care.

About NEJM Group
NEJM Group creates high-quality medical resources for research, learning, practice, and professional development. Designed to meet the demand for essential medical knowledge and innovation among academic researchers and teachers, physicians, clinicians, executives, and others in health care, NEJM Group products include the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Journal Watch, NEJM Knowledge+, and NEJM Catalyst. NEJM Group is a division of the Massachusetts Medical Society. For more information visit


Bridget Briddon, 781-434- 7451



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