From Surgeon to Leadership

Posted on January 10, 2016 by Susan Otten, ABC, SCMP, MBA

Leadership Development for Career Advancement

A Case Study:

A vascular surgeon found VITAL WorkLife via a Google search last year. He was in a transition period for his large multi-specialty group and affiliated hospital. Currently, he serves in a leadership role as the director of vascular services in his community.

LeadershipThe surgeon, who has asked to remain anonymous, described having difficulty communicating, understanding the social landscape and having confidence in his leadership skills. Being a surgeon, he was used to “running things.” Confiding in his spouse was not an option, as she was also a physician and he felt she could not provide an objective view of what he needed. He did not wanting to confide in her about his own work issues, as he felt he needed an objective 3rd party and VITAL WorkLife was key.

Through a VITAL WorkLife counselor, the surgeon learned what kind of leader he wanted to be and agreed Simon Mittal, MD, one of our physician peer coaches, would be the right fit as a sounding board and consultant within our Physician Coaching and Support solution. He states, “Dr. Mittal’s approach was ‘just right.’ They used video chat to hold sessions from time to time and this technology provided a level of personal contact he greatly appreciated because he saw and could connect with Dr. Mittal better in his practice.

He states this coaching experience changed how he went into a meeting; he sat and listened instead of taking command. The coaching helped him improve his communication and leadership skills in managing meetings but also as he provided leadership in his new role. Others have recognized and even sent him holiday cards to acknowledge this change.

For some physicians, personal competence, which includes self awareness and self-management; and social competence – which includes social awareness and relationship management, are critical skills for physicians to acquire in the challenging healthcare environment.

The personal investment in coaching was invaluable for this vascular physician. He’s already received confirmation of the positive change from his staff and colleagues. A completion letter after the Coaching and Support sessions were complete provided documentation of his career investment in his personnel file at work. He has become a physician leader for his organization. New leadership opportunities are continuing to present and are now easy to navigate.

The strength and versatility of the VITAL WorkLife consulting physician network can coach and provide support for a variety of needs. If this surgeon should run into other challenges, he can call VITAL WorkLife as a variety of peer coaches are available to assist, like Dr. Mittal, with his unique needs and challenges. This very savvy and business-minded physician stated, “VITAL WorkLife Coaching and Support should be the “gold standard” or benchmark for all physician leaders to experience, not only for their own well being, but also for the physicians, providers and healthcare organizations they lead.”

We Can Help

For more information on how to get started with a Physician Peer Coach for either leadership development, as in the case of this surgeon, give us a call at 877.731.3949 to speak with one of our consultants to get started or access resources through the VITAL WorkLife App

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