Core Competencies

3.10 Leadership

© 2017 Society of Hospital Medicine

Hospitalists assume formal and informal leadership roles in the hospital system and community. In their individual institutions, hospitalists are responsible for the management and coordination of patient care. This role requires advocating for patients, building consensus, and balancing the needs of individual patients with the resources available to the hospital. On a daily basis, hospitalists must work in teams and exemplify essential leadership behaviors. Hospitalists lead efforts to identify, assess, and improve patient outcomes, resource use, cost-effectiveness, and quality of inpatient medical care. In the larger community, hospitalists lead innovations in hospital medicine research and education and the delivery of healthcare.

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Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Distinguish between management and leadership.

  • Describe hospitalist responsibilities and opportunities to provide active leadership.

  • Explain the attributes and effects of modeling positive and negative behaviors.

  • Explain the importance of finding mentor(s) and serving as a mentor.

  • Discuss how mentor relationships affect the development and advancement of the field of hospital medicine.

  • Describe the key elements of a message.

  • Name the key elements of strategic planning processes.

  • Explain factors that predict the success or failure of strategic plans.

  • Describe styles of leadership.

  • Explain the attributes of effective leadership.

  • Articulate the business and financial motivators that affect decision-making.

  • Explain the specific factors that effect positive change.

  • Explain effective negotiation and conflict resolution techniques.b.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Tailor messages to specific target audiences.

  • Develop effective communication skills using multiple modalities.

  • Plan and conduct an effective meeting.

  • Construct program mission and vision statements.

  • Develop personal, team, and program goals and identify indicators of achievement.

  • Establish, measure, and report key performance metrics.

  • Use established metrics to assess progress and set new goals for performance and outcomes.

  • Analyze personal leadership style.

  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively work with colleagues who have various leadership styles.

  • Develop budgets to support goals using accepted financial principles.

  • Translate performance into measurable financial outcomes.

  • Assess the barriers and facilitating factors to effect change and incorporate those factors into a strategic approach.

  • Demonstrate effective and creative problem-solving techniques.

  • Resolve conflicts with specific negotiation techniques.

  • Provide leadership in teaching, educational scholarship, quality improvement, and other areas that serve to improve patient outcomes and advance the field of hospital medicine.

  • Advocate for financial and other resources needed to support goals and initiatives.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Lead by example.

  • Practice active listening techniques.

  • Provide and seek timely, constructive feedback from peers, subordinates, and supervisors on opportunities for performance improvement.

  • Recognize the importance and influence of positive role modeling.

  • Assess and address personal leadership strengths and weaknesses.

  • Seek and participate in opportunities for professional development.

  • Exemplify professionalism.

  • Accept responsibility and accountability for management decisions.

  • Build consensus in support of key decisions.

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