The alphabet soup of medical leadership: Combined degrees and added qualifications

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Fundamentals of Leadership for Healthcare Professionals


Physicians and surgeons have always been regarded as the face of healthcare delivery. Given the increasing politicization and commercialization of healthcare in the United States, reflected by rising costs and the divisive politics surrounding access to care, the public's trust in the healthcare system has been declining. This provides physicians with a unique opportunity to become involved in the decisionmaking process involving healthcare delivery extending beyond individual patients. The path to leadership roles is often diverse and varied given the myriad of educational resources, skillsets and network connections that might be involved. A physician must understand the ramifications of assuming a leadership role in terms of his or her career, finances, time and work-life balance. For those who are motivated to pursue leadership opportunities, there exists a multitude of educational pathways that might be chosen depending on the future role a physician might aspire to reach. While a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) might appear to be the choice for the undecided, there exist a variety of other courses and curricula that can be tailored to suit individual budgets, interests and requirements. A clear understanding of the strengths and limitations of each is vital prior to making the investment. Finally, it is important to note that the information presented herein readily applies to prospective healthcare leaders from various professional backgrounds, and is not limited to physicians.

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