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How primary care physicians can land executive jobs in healthcare


Not every physician is looking to take on an administrative role in healthcare, but those who are interested need to have the experience and business mind for the role.


Not every hospital or practice is looking to move physicians up into leadership roles, but Gibb Wingate, a senior recruiting consultant for The Delta Companies, says the good ones are.

“It’s important to a lot of doctors to have a physician’s perspective in administration,” he says. “Sadly, sometimes it can seem like two opposing sides.”

A 2010 report by PwC found that 56% of physicians surveyed did not trust hospitals in partnerships because of a lack of representation on the board and in other leadership roles. But more hospitals are beginning to embrace the important role physicians can play in management. Wingate says has worked with a level two trauma center that is administered entirely by physicians, from the CEO on down.

“They only thing that those guys did to key themselves up for that is they have the experience and the business mind that was needed for the role,” he says.

But that doesn’t mean executive positions are for everyone. Wingate says only certain physicians are willing to take on the added responsibility of running a business.

“They actively pursued that career path,” he says. “In those positions, you have to give up patients or work extra hours. It doesn’t require any extra education. That’s more for the non-physician. But the number one thing that they look at for is experience.”

He says it’s usually physicians who are later in their career that want to take an administrative role.

“They want to take on a new challenge or take on a practice that’s in trouble and turn it around,” Wingate says. “I don’t talk to a lot of young doctors who are looking to leave practice to go into leadership. Some will look for a medical director role that’s a next step, but more common than not, it’s physicians later in their career. They feel like they can make a bigger impact more in their life than seeing patients as normal.”


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