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From Extraordinary Diagnostician to Extraordinary Leader

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From Extraordinary Diagnostician to Extraordinary Leader

Interview with Stuart Levine, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Harbor Hospital and Senior Vice President, MedStar Health

Margaret Cary: May 4, 2018


1. What did your medical school and residency education contribute to your role as an executive?

2. What in your clinical education/background contributed positively to your role as an executive?

3. What role did the Physicians Leadership Development program play in your progress as a leader?

4. What are the biggest challenges you faced as you moved from clinician to executive?

5. What were some of your mistakes in moving into a leadership role? What did you do/say/feel to learn from those mistakes?

6. What were some of your “aha” moments in coaching?

7. What advice do you give to other physicians entering leadership roles?

Stuart M. Levine, MD, FACP, serves as the president and chief medical officer of MedStar Harbor Hospital and senior vice president of MedStar Health. Before this post he was the vice president of medical affairs at MedStar Harbor and at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (at the same time). Dr. Levine was in Cohort One of MedStar’s Physician Leadership Development program.

What did your medical school and residency education contribute to your role as an executive?

I spent the most time thinking about the answer to this question because medical school and residency training should prepare every physician for a life as an executive. In medical school, there’s a massive amount of information to be assimilated. You’re handling time pressures, learning emotional intelligence as you navigate complex situations. You deal with staff, other physicians, patients and family members, often in tense situations.

With residency training you learn team dynamics, how to be an effective team leader, teaching others, and navigating peer relationships. Each of those is a core skill that effective executives do. As I looked back on my resume, each of those skills has been a building block for my success in my career journey. I look at some of my colleagues who have failed at weaving all the strands together – medical training, personal insight, becoming a leader

All of those things are your core items in development that good executives have and do implicitly. The reason I spent so much time thinking about this is that when I look back on my resume everything I just said are building blocks for why I’m successful in this branch of professional life that I’ve chosen.

Many of the people who become physicians through the leadership program have some of the personality and personal insight that I think it takes to be able to tie all those strands together and become an effective leader.

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  1. Margaret Cary, MD MBA MPH PCC

    August 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Stu – your stories are why it’s important for leaders to be self-aware! You’ve done a lot of work with your coach, Rick Auman. He’s The Best!


  2. Joy Goldman

    August 26, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Great interview and leadership principles. Dr. Levine models leveraging the polarity of confidence and humility! Having worked with leaders who report to him, I’m especially appreciative!


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