Mo Kasti’s Physician Leadership: The Rx for Healthcare Transformation explains why physician leadership is an essential component to successful healthcare transformation and why most physicians are currently ill-prepared to lead others. Kasti highlights the symptoms that physicians and healthcare organizations are experiencing as a result of a leadership vacuum and provides a solution that defines, measures, analyzes, improves, and verifies leadership evolution. Many specific examples, which will resonate with anyone working in healthcare today, as well as successful case studies, are included.



At almost 18% of GDP, our current healthcare cost structure is unsustainable. The industry must undergo a major transformation, a change akin to turning the proverbial barge during a hurricane. As providers and payers begin the difficult process of transformation, the people who are the lifeblood of healthcare – physicians – are suffering some unintended, and unfortunate consequences:

  • An increasing number of physicians seek early retirement citing “burnout” while more retrench between private practices and hospitals.
  • Job dissatisfaction is at an all-time high, resulting in more than 20 percent of physicians moving to a different hospital within the third year of their hire.
  • Hospitals and physician practices are experiencing record levels of turnover with an average annual rate of nearly 7 percent.
  • The annual cost of turnover to healthcare organizations averages $1.25 million per physician.


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  • Medical education focuses on clinical skills, graduating generations of physicians taught to treat patients, but not to assume the critical leadership roles required in our turbulent age.
  • Medical educational focus is on individual excellence, not on quality outcomes.
  • We inadvertently produce doctors from the old paradigm, while the new health age cries out for new skill sets that include leadership, teamwork, collaboration and innovation.
  • When physicians disengage from their vocations, whether due to cynicism or burnout, healthcare transformation becomes impossible to achieve.
  • Physician leadership is not a position or a title, it is a mindset.
  • Where there is strong physician leadership, healthcare organizations benefit. They become exemplars of quality patient care and cost effectiveness.
  • Organizations that effectively develop physician leaders have demonstrated better engagement, better alignment, and better results for patients, employees, and business performance.