Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Developing physician leaders: does it work?
  1. James K Stoller
  1. Education, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James K Stoller, Education, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA; STOLLEJ{at}


Background Leader development programmes are signature features of frontrunner multinational companies. Healthcare institutions have generally lagged behind, though attention to implementing leader development programmes in healthcare institutions is increasing. The rationale for leader development in healthcare is that leadership competencies matter and that traditional selection and training of physicians may conspire against both optimal leadership competencies and followership.

Methods The growth of leader development in healthcare institutions begs the question: Does leader development work?

Results In this context, three meta-analyses have examined the impact of leader development programmes in healthcare institutions. In general, findings from these studies indicate that while studies do assess the subjective learning of participants, few studies have evaluated the organisational impact of such leader development programmes.

Conclusions These findings suggest the need for more rigorous, objective assessment of the organisational impact of leader development programmes in healthcare institutions. Such evidence is critically needed in the current resource-constrained environment of healthcare.

  • leadership assessment
  • development
  • effectiveness

Statistics from


  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.