Physician leadership roles across the healthcare landscape continue to grow in scope of engagement and accountability. Today’s physician executives are at the forefront of managing change and confronting challenges, designing new and better ways to coordinate care across the healthcare ecosystem, and navigating patients to the highest value touch-points. Amid immense public health needs, evolving reimbursement models, technology disruption, risk sharing, the aging population and increased consumerism, providers must have a keen focus on the highest quality care delivery and the optimal patient experience.
Physician Leaders Transforming Strategy into Performance Excellence
Physician Executive Search Experts
Serving clients globally, WittKieffer is experienced and proactive in recruiting physician leaders for a multitude of roles, including CEOs and other executives in the C-suite; senior leaders overseeing population health and value-based care, quality, patient experience, and well-being; and department chairs, service line chiefs, center directors and medical directors. We serve leading integrated delivery systems, academic medical and health sciences centers, independent hospitals, clinically integrated networks (CINs), accountable care organizations (ACOs), Fortune 500 corporations, insurance providers and other innovative healthcare collaboratives.
WittKieffer is the most active firm in the nation in placing physician executives. Our search professionals – including the members of our Physician Executive Council – stay connected with seasoned and emerging physician leaders through support of national and regional professional associations, active thought leadership, and daily engagement with client leaders and exceptional physician executive candidates. Our success at this level gives us insight into the rapidly changing healthcare landscape and how strong physician executive leadership can alter the trajectory of an entire organization.
Our Emerging Physician Leaders (EPL) specialty practice enables us to work vertically and precisely at the director and chief levels, connecting our clients with the next generation of physician executives. The EPL Practice identifies up-and-coming physician leaders across a myriad of disciplines who embrace technology, care innovation and integration while effectively promoting best practices, driving clinical and financial performance and advancing the quadruple aim.
WittKieffer operates at the intersection of science, health care delivery and education – the Quality of Life Ecosystem. Our expertise in clinical and scientific leadership runs deep; we know that it takes unique individuals to exhibit technical expertise as well as strong leadership acumen, and we support our clients in identifying and developing truly difference-making clinical and scientific leaders.
For years we’ve watched the chief medical officer role evolve into one that leads multidisciplinary teams across facilities and services areas; showcases insurance and managed care expertise; orchestrates strategic business development; exhibits genuine soft skills; and more. As the role has grown beyond the fundamental challenge of overseeing the medical staff, WittKieffer has built relationships with an impressive cohort of industry physicians who have the capacity to handle the immense responsibilities of the CMO (or Chief Clinical Officer) position.
Without exceptional leadership in clinical development, few medical breakthroughs would proceed through R&D and into commercial production. These executives spearhead clinical development plans, build and manage talented teams, interface with global regulatory authorities and oversee the progression of a pharmaceutical, device or diagnostic product through its critical phases. WittKieffer identifies clinical development leaders who balance technical expertise with a vision of the entire product lifecycle. We understand the leadership qualities needed to coalesce teams around a unified, long-range goal.
WittKieffer identifies leaders at the nexus of academic medicine, healthcare, life sciences and the private equity worlds. The scientific and R&D leaders of today are driving innovation, creating disruption and building consensus around new ideas and technologies. Their work is crucial in shaping organizational strategy and identifying future opportunities and breakthroughs.
Our Commitment to Diversity
Our Physician Integration and Leadership Practice is committed to advancing diversity – in creatively identifying diverse leaders in our searches and encouraging our clients to think broadly about candidates for key roles. During the recruitment phase, we identify leaders from underrepresented groups through a network of relationships built on trust over many years. Our track record speaks for itself: more than 60% of our physician leader placements are women and/or underrepresented minorities.
Since becoming president of the newly created MaineHealth Medical Group in the summer of 2021, Aileen Mickey, M.D., has prioritized the development of consistency and a cohesive culture among more than 1,100 providers across nine hospitals and over 200 specialty and primary care practices. Key initiatives she has championed include:
- Assembling a management team of clinical and operational dyads from each local health system to facilitate large-scale, integrated planning;
- Expanding the ambulatory quality structure across the MaineHealth system;
- Creating a clinical standards committee to, for example, ensure procedures and treatments are consistent across all practices;
- Improving work flows and adding resources to alleviate the stress and burnout that clinicians are experiencing;
- Developing 10 additional specialty councils to encourage sharing and camaraderie across specializations.
Dr. Mickey is effecting major change across the medical group, relying on clear communication and transparency as a leader. People won’t always agree with every change, she says, but will embrace it if they understand the thoughtful reasoning behind it.