The author of this article is KrisEmily McCrory, MD, who practices full-spectrum, academic family medicine in upstate New York.

In this uncertain environment surrounding the evolution of healthcare in the United States, physicians need to come forward as leaders to develop and maintain sustainable healthcare delivery models. It is important to not get lost in the shuffle of burdensome demands of certification maintenance, unproven quality markers, and ever-growing stacks of paper work.

Rather than changing everything, physicians should claim responsibility for the small role they play in our own local communities. Here are some strategies to find the leader within you and emulate effective leadership traits:

  • Ask questions. Look within your community and institution and question areas that impede providing good health to your patients. Step up and ask the hard questions.
  • Present solutions. Become informed behind the rational for office and hospital policies and develop solutions. Be open to compromise and keep your long-term visions at the forefront.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Other colleagues may fundamentally disagree with us or have different values or opinions. True leaders make discussions safe. Do not personally threaten or insult others. Be respected, not feared.

Get involved locally in your communities and identify groups that speak on matters important to you. Volunteer your time, lend your voice in policy making, and step up into leadership positions when opportunities present themselves.

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