Our Vision

The American Association for Physician Leadership® is the world’s premier organization for lifelong growth and support of physician leaders.

What we believe

We believe physicians are uniquely positioned to improve the delivery of health care. We strive to help physicians by giving them the tools, skills and confidence to take on leadership and management roles in their organizations.

We understand the complexities of today’s rapidly changing health care landscape. We believe collaboration, innovation and dedication are the keys to the future, and physician leaders equipped with those skills are positioned to take on those challenges.

We’re proud of our history of service to our members and commitment to their futures. Our members and faculty are our greatest strengths. We value curiosity, optimism and diversity. And we work to promote collegiality through our networking and mentoring opportunities.

Essential Elements

Safe for all
Streamlined and efficient
Measurement based
Fair and equitable

Leadership Competencies

Communication and Relationship Management

Collaborative function

Aware that the input of diverse ideas can facilitate problem solving, effective leaders welcome the participation of others. They encourage the open discussion of ideas, opinions, and suggestions while maintaining a healthy skepticism and keeping the pressure on for results.

Develop relationships

Strong team leaders have a cognitive understanding of personality differences, individual behavior, interpersonal dynamics, and group process, as well as an ability to empathize with others to understand their feelings and subjective reactions on an intuitive level.

Conflict management

Successful leaders confront rather than avoid sensitive issues and problems, such as infringements of corporate policy or subpar work performance. They deliver difficult messages or critical feedback directly and frankly while maintaining a sensitivity and concern for those receiving the news.

Skillful communication

In their interactions with team members, effective leaders listen attentively, send clear signals, and convey openness, friendliness, and cooperation. They are approachable, in spite of the formal or informal authority that goes with a management position.



Most managers and executives face a constantly changing environment. To be effective, they balance the benefits of order and stability with the benefits of flexibility, change, and growth. Leaders maintain focus while remaining open to exploring new approaches and new priorities.

Motivate others

Leaders who can rally others to pursue a vision are self-confident and optimistic. They project this confidence and optimism and use it to inspire others, despite having normal doubts, worries and stress.

Trust and respect

This competency relates to the physician leader’s ability and obligation to evaluate benefit vs. burden/risk and communicate this to appropriate parties. It is a concept rooted in beneficence and tapped by physicians regularly.


Effective leaders exercise formal and informal power, influence, and authority without overwhelming coworkers. They adapt the style and intensity of their leadership to fit the situation and are able to function in a subordinate role when necessary.

Strategic perspective

Effective managers and executives are willing and able to generate creative and innovative ideas and to take calculated risks. When necessary, they challenge standard procedures or the status quo, and they formulate novel actions or solutions.

Critical appraisal skills

Physician leaders understand the importance of gathering information in order to predict outcomes. In leadership roles, higher levels of critical appraisal skill allow physicians to factor past experience into quick decision making.



Successful leaders welcome the personal responsibility and accountability that go with positions of authority. Valuing dependability, honesty, and forthrightness, they hold others accountable for the commitments they have made, accept fault or criticism when it is deserved, and expect others to do the same.


Effective managers and executives make decisions expediently and take appropriate action. In making their decisions, they take into account a large number of potentially contradictory factors and bits of information, seek and accept the participation of others when appropriate, and are not overly burdened by the effect of their decisions on others.


The physician’s tendency to behave in an altruistic manner often appears as an “unwritten norm” in organizations. This focus on “doing what is right when no one is watching” is interwoven with an ability to improve the situation of others and remain consistent.


Effective leaders are capable of creating a positive impression among a variety of audiences. They are responsive to others and value rapport, affiliation, and contact. They are seen as approachable and are able to gain cooperation and support from others. While concerned about others’ opinions, and aware of how they are perceived, effective leaders must also be sure to not overly fixate on what others think of them.

Technical Expertise

Business knowledge and skills

The ability to apply business principles, including systems thinking, to the healthcare environment.

Knowledge of the health care environment

Successful leaders exhibit an understanding of the interrelationships of access, quality, cost, resource allocation, accountability and community.


  1. The Association is widely recognized as the world’s premier organization for physician leadership, education, and certification.
  2. The Association is the global physician leadership community of choice and provides lifelong career development.
  3. The Association is recognized as the preferred organization for physician leadership on issues of health care policy, management and delivery.
  4. The Association provides a diverse set of offerings in support of physician leadership for the evolving international health care marketplace.
  5. The Association maintains a fiscally sound, innovative, and efficiently governed organization that is effectively managed.