Licensed to Lead

Licensed to Lead

Join host Patty Fahy, MD as she shares the evidence for why physicians must lead healthcare and lead us out of the current healthcare system morass. Patty has twenty years of experience working with leaders in healthcare—as a member of an executive team, founder of a successful coaching and consulting firm, and as a committed physician advocate. This podcast is for you if you want expert physician leaders at the helm of U.S. healthcare systems and if you want practical advice and critical conversations about honing the leadership skills of physicians. The Licensed to Lead Podcast offers new angles on the neuroscience of leadership, challenges a “burnout industry” that is profiting from physician burnout, and offers a no-holds-barred investigation into the business school mindset that puts profits over patients. Patty and her guests provide provocative and clear recommendations for changing the business of medicine so that it fulfills the professional obligations of medicine. The physician identity is deeply rooted in doing the right thing for patients. It is time for the financial preoccupation that arises from a business school mindset to be subordinated to the professional obligations we have to patients. Find out more about Patty and Fahy Consulting at


June 7, 2022 51 mins
Community, connection, purpose: these values are almost palpable even in a virtual conversation with Dr. Susan Rogers. Dr. Rogers is an internist, educator, and activist on behalf of those who suffer when profit motives bulldoze the institutions that are meant to serve the public. A neon example of a public good which has been targeted by profiteers is traditional Medicare. As president of Physicians for a National Health Program, ...
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McGill Business Professor Henry Mintzberg is the author of 20 books on management, creator of two revolutionary international management programs, and the recipient of a mountain of accolades and honors for his thought leadership in the business world. Mintzberg minces no words in his pointed criticism of current approaches to management training and the behavior of those in management and leadership positions. In this interview, P...
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Author and certified lifestyle medicine physician, Iris Schrijver, MD, describes a fulfilling and fast-paced academic career at Stanford as a full professor of pathology and director of a molecular genetics research lab. A few years ago, in an unlikely turn of events, an opportunity to design a leadership project ignited her long simmering interest in wellbeing.

That project culminated in a 2016 research article An Exploration of Ke...
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Attorney and author Dennis Hursh helps physicians navigate their employment contracts. He describes his shock early on in his career when he saw the lopsided language in the contracts offered to his highly trained physician clients. He points out that no hospital executive would ever agree to such contractual language for themselves.
A sampling of items Mr. Hursh considers “insane”:

- 24 hour call shifts (and by the way, you will wor...
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In response to listener questions and comments, we dive into two topics in this episode. The first is influence, especially when managing “up” or when dealing with a high profile colleague. The second topic is incentives. Podcast episode #35 featured Alfie Kohn who surprised listeners when he described the negative impact of incentives on intrinsic motivation.
We discuss a model of influence from the work of Jay Conger, who wrote...
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Christopher Obetz, MD, is the CEO of an organization which started with a handful of physicians 30 years ago, and now they have over 150 physicians and APPs. The group staffs nine emergency rooms in the Minneapolis St. Paul area. One year ago, Dr. Obetz was my guest on Episode #15 (Title: Emergency Care Consultants CEO: The Incalculable Value of Physician Careers). At the time, the ECC leader and his organization were faced with ...
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Dr. Keith Smith cofounded the remarkably successful and wonderfully disruptive Surgery Center of Oklahoma. He and fellow anesthesiologist, Dr. Steven Lantier, left their hospital-based practices in 1997 to launch a physician-owned surgery center promising high quality care at a fair, transparent, and all-inclusive price. They had become fed up watching hospital administrators profit mightily while those who were actually caring for...
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Alfie Kohn is a prolific author and expert on the psychological and organizational effects of rewards, incentives and competition. As a longtime fan of his thinking and writing, it was a huge treat (no pun intended) for me to talk with him about the counterproductive impact of incentive systems in the workplace. In 2018, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Kohn’s superb book, Punished by Rewards—The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive P...
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My guest is Dr. Roger Fowler, Vice President, and Chief Medical Director of Quality, Performance and Innovation with CHRISTUS Health in Irving, Texas.
As an expert in population health, quality, and healthcare reform, Dr. Fowler offers a rich perspective on the historical events that underpin our current state of U.S. healthcare. His belief is that we must move away from payment systems that reward the quantity of procedures perform...
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Leah Houston, MD is a serial entrepreneur, emergency medicine physician, and activist. She is the founder of: HPEC: Humanistic Physician Empowerment Community is a platform physicians can use to own and store their own digital identity and credentials. A secure, self-sovereign identity is the foundation for restoring physician autonomy. (Find out why!)
EverCred: The system used by institutions to manage certification data and issu...
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My guest this week is national healthcare leader Dr. Jack Cochran. As CEO of the Permanente Federation, he was the top national leader for over 20,000 physicians who cared for more than 10 million people in their Kaiser Permanente medical practices. In this animated conversation, the inspiring and articulate Dr. Cochran describes his non-linear and unexpected path to executive leadership and international activism on behalf of exce...
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Lisa Marchiano is a Jungian psychoanalyst and cohost of the marvelous “This Jungian Life” podcast. We discuss Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s work and the implications for physicians and the ailing medical profession.
Lisa explains that Jung believed: “We are all on a path toward wholeness. The goal of life is to become more whole—and when that path is blocked in some way, we get symptoms.”
Unlike the so-called manualized therapies ...
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This episode is a continuation of my animated conversation with Professor J.-C. Spender, a nuclear engineer-turned-business school professor, author, expert on the history of business education, and former executive and business school dean.
At the onset of episode #30 I asked Dr. Spender if getting an MBA degree would provide what’s needed if someone wanted to efficiently manage a healthcare organization.
His response was YES. But h...
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J.-C. Spender, PhD, is an engineer-turned-business school professor, an author, an expert on the history of business education, and he’s a former business executive and business school dean. These credentials equip him to have insight into the goings-on of business schools and real expertise in the practical challenges of graduate business education. Dr. Spender has a distinct philosophical bent which surfaces in this episode (an...
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What is the Corporate Practice of Medicine?

In this episode, Brad Adatto, a business law and healthcare attorney, takes us on a journey through the intent, implications, and risks associated with state laws that “ban” the corporate practice of medicine. He describes how these state laws arise from a variety of legal and regulatory sources, and prohibit corporations (or any “non-physicians”) from employing physicians or owning medic...
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Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are companies that manage prescription drug benefits for payers like insurance companies, government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and self-insured employers. They are the middlemen and money handlers who negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers to determine drug prices and drug placement on formularies. Considering the costly and far-reaching impact of their negotiations, they have ...
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In today’s encore episode, I am sharing an excerpt from an earlier episode discussing myths
about physician leadership and dispelling those myths with evidence. 

MYTH:  a widely held but false belief or idea 

Time to bust some of the myths and stereotypes about physicians being arrogant, un-herdable
cats and lone wolves who don't understand teamwork, business or finances.

#1  Doctors are lone wolves or cowboys who can’t ...
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For today’s episode, I asked Dr. Barbara McAneny about her upcoming talk: Stop Blaming the Doctors!  My main intention in asking Barbara to come back on the podcast (she was a guest on Episode #13) was to have her guide me through the malodorous sewer where Pharmacy Benefits Managers live.  But since I had her corralled on Zoom I suggested we both give a preview of our Global Summit presentations.  As an oncologist, the founder and...
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In this encore episode, I’m touching on some of the enormous quantity of research that has been directed at physician burnout. We have clear and convincing descriptions of the causes of physician burnout. What we don’t have, is a lot of action directly tackling those causes.
How is it that healthcare leadership has had a lackluster response to the crumbling careers of those whose credentials are required to open a hospital? Whet...
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In this encore episode I highlight a portion of my conversation with Dr. Patty Gabow, former CEO at Denver Health. During this 15 minute segment, Patty reacts to my question about the value of physicians’ tacit knowledge and the built-in leadership qualities physicians develop in their training. Listen in as Dr. Gabow weighs in on why physicians must lead, how values must drive healthcare strategy, and why her latest book Time’s ...
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