Healthcare CEOs and Physicians: Reaching Common Ground

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A survey of 670 hospital and health system CEOs was conducted to understand why they chose a career path to CEO, what characteristics typify their career paths, and what major concerns they have about the future. Respondents expressed very strong altruistic reasons for becoming CEO, a finding that is consistent with the rationale many physicians express for entering medical practice. Early CEO career paths were diverse but typically led respondents to a senior managerial position before becoming CEO. Nine percent started as direct providers of healthcare. The respondents' most frequently expressed concerns for the future centered on reimbursement/financing issues and staffing shortages.


Physicians may be surprised to learn that healthcare CEOs share their core values, experience similar frustrations, and have identical fears about the future of healthcare. Rather than emphasizing the differences between CEOs and doctors as a stumbling block to alliance, we urge the establishment of a common ground based on similar core values and purposes that will lead to improved communication and the powerful combination of talents derived from collegial collaboration.

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