Scientific article
Open access

French-speaking Swiss physician’s perceptions and perspectives regarding their competencies and training need in leadership and management: a mixed-methods study

Published inBMC health services research, vol. 23, no. 1, 1095
Publication date2023-10-12
First online date2023-10-12

Introduction: Effective leadership and management (L&M) are essential to the success of health care organizations. Young medical leaders often find themselves ill-prepared to take on these new responsibilities, but rarely attend training in L&M skills. The aims of this study were to evaluate physician's self-perceived competencies and training needs for L&M, to identify available regional L&M training, and to highlight opportunities, challenges and threats regarding physicians' training in medical L&M in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Methods: We conducted a mixed methods study in three steps: (1) a survey on perceived L&M competencies and training needs (5 dimensions) to all physicians of a Swiss University Hospital (N = 2247); (2) a mapping of the Swiss French speaking L&M training programs through analysis of hospital websites and interviews; and (3) semi-structured interviews with L&M program coordinators about the programs' strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and challenges to include physicians in such training. We used analysis of variance to compare differences in perceived competences between physicians of different hierarchical status and used Cramer's V to measure the association's degree between physicians' training needs and prior training in L&M and hierarchical status. We analysed semi-structured interviews using thematic analysis.

Results: Five-hundred thirty-two physicians responded (24%). Physicians perceived themselves as rather competent in most leadership dimensions. More experienced physicians reported a higher sense of competence in all dimensions of leadership (e.g. Working with others: F = 15.55, p < .001; Managing services: F = 46.89, p < .001). Three competencies did not vary according to the hierarchical status: emotional intelligence (F = 1.56, p = .20), time management (F = 0.47, p = .70) and communicating (F = 1.97, p = .12). There was a weak to moderate association between the responders' self-perceived needs for training and their hierarchal status for all competencies (Cramer's V ∈ [0.16;0.35]). Physicians expressed a strong desire to seek out training for all competencies, especially for knowing one's leadership style (82%), managing teams (83%), and managing conflict (85%). Although existing local L&M training programs covered most relevant topics, only a forth of responders had attended any type of training. L&M program coordinators identified several facilitators and barriers to physician attendance on institutional (matching reality and training), relational (managing collective intelligence), and individual levels (beliefs and self-perceived identity).

Conclusions: French-speaking Swiss hospital physicians clearly express training needs for L&M skills although they only rarely attend such training programs. Reasons for non-attendance to such programs should be explored in order to understand physicians' low participation rates in these trainings.

  • Competencies
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Physicians
  • Post-graduate training
  • Clinical Competence
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Physicians*
  • Professional Competence
  • Switzerland
Citation (ISO format)
LÜCHINGER, Robin et al. French-speaking Swiss physician’s perceptions and perspectives regarding their competencies and training need in leadership and management: a mixed-methods study. In: BMC health services research, 2023, vol. 23, n° 1, p. 1095. doi: 10.1186/s12913-023-10081-x
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1472-6963

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