What Makes a Great Academic Healthcare Leader

Academic medical centers (AMCs) are unlike any other healthcare organization. They are so special that only 5% of hospitals in the US fit under the definition of academic medical centers.  Because of their nature, AMCs tend to care for patients who are oftentimes sickest or afflicted with rare diseases. This makes it so that this type of medical center runs as a complicated business model. Those who decide to become an academic healthcare leader must be armed with not just the right educational and professional certifications, but must also have the right attitude to not only run the organization but to assist in its growth.

What Makes a Great Academic Healthcare Leader

Healthcare search firm for academic healthcare leaders
The characteristics that make up a skilled academic healthcare leader

Academic medical centers aren’t there only to take care of the public. They also serve to train the country’s future medical teams, to conduct research in hopes of reaching medical breakthroughs all while improving population health. In order to achieve these goals, academic healthcare leaders must have multiple character traits as well as a great set of certifications. Throughout our years of placing Academic Healthcare Leaders, we’ve come to know exactly what traits are needed in talent looking to work in this very specialized field.

Collaboration Skills

Academic medical centers require quite a bit of collaboration. Many times, AMCs work alongside an Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and other partners in management. Collaboration for leaders of Academic Healthcare Organizations goes beyond working with doctors, nurses, and the various internal departments. An academic healthcare leader must have the savvy to work with vertical, parallel and completely separate organizations; organizations who at times may even be competitors. This type of collaboration takes a particular type of experience and finesse.

Financial Know-How

Those who are responsible for the health of an academic healthcare system are accountable for not just regular finances, but the costs that come with taking care of an underserved population. This is a population which usually brings with them the highest expense.  As such, financial leaders at academic health systems and academic medical centers must have an incredible understanding of finances and how to balance an incredibly intricate financial system.

Another important aspect of finances for academic institutions is the allocation of funds from both state and federal government. Many, but not all academic healthcare systems receive money from the government in grants. In order to have these grants allocated, each department must put forth the case for the resources. Because of these aspects, financials can be quite complicated. A financial leader will most likely be required step outside of the organization to work with local and national governmental entities.

Strong Analytic & Reporting Skills

Because of the composition of academic health systems, the complexities of reporting abound.  There are specific lines of authority, multiple stakeholders and even physician Chairs of particular departments that all require to be informed of progress and receive reporting. There are also committees that are involved in all aspects of academic medicine. As such, academic healthcare leaders must have the know-how and experience to properly execute reporting across departments and disciplines. Because reporting for academic health centers goes beyond just reporting data and analytics, academic health leaders must understand how to tell a story with the data that is presented so that everyone involved understands how it relates to the organization.

How to Find the Right Academic Healthcare Leader

The team at Summit Talent Group Specializes in working with AMC’s to find the right cultural talent to fit their needs. We’ve worked with the likes of Johns Hopkins Medicine, University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), Howard University Hospital, and more for the past four years. Because we work on a boutique model, our team will be there every step of the executive search process. The searches are consulted by our experienced team, not dripped down to less experienced team members or interns. At Summit Talent Group, we deliver a true white glove executive search experience.

If you would like to speak with our team about how we work and how we can help you with your Academic Healthcare Executive Search needs, contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.