There is so much turbulence and change in health care these days – system consolidation, changes in payment, technology, consumerism and challenges to physician scope of practice – that it is sometimes difficult not to get overwhelmed, even pessimistic about the future.

What I see, however, is another parallel, promising trend. Leveraging change requires leadership. In earlier, more stable times, you seldom saw physicians embracing leadership roles. Now, physicians seem to embrace these roles at an unprecedented rate. I have worked with many specialties, and I believe anesthesiologists are uniquely suited to leadership roles. This is for a variety of reasons:

Despite the opportunity, we find that physicians often move into leadership roles unprepared. Indeed, your training as physicians does not prepare you for tough challenges you face as leaders. Many of you pursue formal training in leadership; for others, it is about learning from experience.

The evidence for the...

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