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          Greatness and Leadership

          In Healthcare

          By Rajeev Suri, MD, MBA, FACR, 2022 BCMS President

            The word ‘leader’ often conjures up an image of someone who   As the healthcare industry grows, so does the demand for more
          needs to be followed, who directs others, who controls the ship and   leaders. In addition to leaders at the local and institutional level, op-
          provides decisive decisions. Instead of just being the captain of a ship,   portunities will also grow at the local, state and national level for or-
          a leader should also have greatness and be a greatness facilitator who   ganized medicine. As physicians we have the opportunity to be at
          helps create greatness in everyone and the organization around them.   the table and if not, we will definitely be on the menu. We can’t have
          Greatness is a quality that changes an organization from mediocrity   our heads in the sand, hope that this too shall pass and let someone
          to excellence. Greatness is a culture in an organization that creates   else take the mantle. To achieve the skills needed to succeed as great
          fertile ground for exceptional performance to thrive in.    leaders, we need to be ready. You can identify mentors and learn on
            Paraphrasing Shakespeare from the Twelfth Night, “Some leaders   the job, go through leadership training programs (in our practices,
          are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness   institutions and local, state or national chapters) or do a formal grad-
          thrust upon them.” Apart from the first category where a select few   uate degree (MHA, MBA, certificate courses). Bexar County Med-
          are born great, leadership and greatness are learned qualities – they   ical Society (BCMS) has a dedicated physician leadership training
          require diligence and perseverance to a goal, a sacrifice of wants for   course that has trained several healthcare leaders in San Antonio,
          musts, a need to give it the very best. So, when you strive hard day   Texas and beyond. After a 2-year hiatus due to COVID-19, this
          and night to be the very best and achieve greatness, or you have great-  course is coming back this fall with interactive lectures from faculty
          ness thrust upon you through opportunities – you are and must be   of  Trinity University, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
          ready to meet it.                                    Program and BCMS Physician leaders. Additional options within
            The path to leadership and greatness is forever a point of discus-  San Antonio include healthcare administration certificate programs
          sion – in fact whole books, blogs and sessions are devoted to it. Three   at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Busi-
          key dictums still always hold true: find your path, believe in your   ness, graduate degrees (MHA) at Trinity University and Master of
          path and live your path. In addition to following and living your   Business Administration (MBA) with a Healthcare focus at UTSA
          path, understanding and developing key leadership skills is essential,   College of Business. TMA also organizes a Texas Medical Associa-
          strong communication (listening and learning), emotional intelli-  tion Leadership College for young physicians. These are just few of
          gence (understanding and managing one’ own emotions in a positive   the several options available in San Antonio for us to be ready to be
          way and being empathetic), problem solving (thinking critically) and   at the table and achieve our true potential.
          time management.                                      President Roosevelt aptly said “We must dare to be great.” So, dare,
            Most theories for leadership were developed for business settings   believe in yourself, be prepared and ready to accept the challenge and
          and have been morphed to healthcare settings as the healthcare busi-  rise to it. All of us our capable of greatness, you just have to take step
          ness has evolved. Leadership approaches have been identified that   forward!
          are more often situational (modifiable to the situation) rather than
          being siloed, collaborative leadership (cooperative and encourage in-  Rajeev Suri, MD, MBA, FACR is the 2022 President of the Bexar
          formed decision making), transformational leadership (empowers   County Medical Society, Tenured Professor and Interim Chair of the
          others, motivational), ethical leadership (treat all with fairness and   Department Radiology at UT Health San Antonio, and Chief of Staff
          respect), servant leadership (less hierarchal) and authoritative lead-  at University Hospital San Antonio.
          ership. Leaders may only have one of these leadership traits, but great
          leaders may use different leadership traits in different situations.

         8     SAN ANTONIO MEDICINE  • September 2022
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