The identity of a physician leader – balancing between the two roles
Background Physician leaders work in many roles and respond to the diverse expectations of the various stakeholders. Understanding of the professional identity of physician leaders is limited and thus further research is needed.
Methods The aim of this study was to examine the professional identity of the physician leaders and to compare the differences between them and non-leader physicians. The data were based on the Physician 2018 survey (1127 physician leaders and 4002 non-leader physicians). In addition, data from a comparable survey conducted in 2003 were used in the time series trend analysis. Professional identity was examined with 27 identity expressions.
Results Most physician leaders identified themselves as “members of a team”. The other common expressions were “developer” and “health professional”. Roughly three out of four physician leaders (72%) identified themselves as “leaders”. The leader identity among physician leaders has been strengthened during recent decades.
Conclusions In terms of professional identity, physician leaders identified themselves increasingly as leaders. Yet, a more common identity was a member of a team. The leadership education of physicians should be further developed to support physician leaders to adopt leadership roles in healthcare. These actions can assist in the formation of the professional identity of physician leaders.
Joonas Pyörny, Valtteri Korkiakoski, Pyry Mattila, Minna Kaila, Sami Heistaro, Markku Sumanen
B.M., Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration
Faculty of Medicine and Health Technologies and Faculty of Management and Business, University of Tampere