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[Infographic Guide] How to Develop a New Generation of Physician Leaders

Jackson Physician Search
July 10, 2024

As a record number of physicians near retirement age, among those retiring are physician executives. Now is the time to prepare for these departures by developing a new generation of physician leaders.

1: Physician Executive Succession Planning  

Healthcare administrators assigned an average importance of 7.5 out of 10 to succession planning in a 2021 survey from Jackson Physician Search and MGMA.

A 2022 MGMA Stat Poll found just 35% of healthcare organizations have a succession plan for leadership positions.

Takeaway: Reduce the impact of physician executive retirements by implementing a succession plan with leadership development tracks for physicians.

2: Build or Strengthen Internal Leadership Training Programs 

Our 2023 white paper on early-career physician recruitment reveals that career track and advancement opportunities heavily influence retention among new physicians.

However, according to a 2024 MGMA Stat Poll, only 23% of medical groups have a formal program for physician leadership development.

Takeaway: Intentional skill-building can lift early- and mid-career physicians with leadership potential into executive roles that create organizational stability and promote retention.

3: Qualities to Look for in Future Leaders

The following traits are strong indicators that a physician has interest and aptitude for an executive role:

  • Clinical Excellence
  • Professionalism
  • Adaptability
  • Credibility
  • Curiosity
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Active Listener
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Team Player
  • Leading by Example

4: Leadership Pathways for the Next Generation

Academic Path:

  • MBA Programs
  • MHA Programs
  • MMM Programs

Certificate Programs:

  • AAPL’s CMO Academy and CPE Program
  • MGMA’s CMPE Credential
  • ACHE’s FACHE Credential


  • Encourage physicians to seek out mentors
  • Establish a mentorship program

Leadership and Development Programs:

  • Create a program with rotations through Finance and HR roles

5: Partner with a Physician Executive Search Firm 

Physician executives were physicians first. After more than 10,000 physician placements, we understand the physician culture and why they choose to pursue leadership. We have spent decades building a network of physician leaders nationwide and can quickly identify physicians suited to grow into executive roles.

If your organization is recruiting a physician executive, contact VP of Executive Search Tom Rossi at

Reach out to a Jackson Physician Search executive recruitment expert today at

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