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Why become a Certified Physician Executive? (Career Management).

The CPE Tutorial is a five-day program that teaches executive skills that will make you more valued in the marketplace. If you pass the evaluation on the last day, you become a Certified Physician Executive. This is the certification of choice, the one that the American College of Physician Executives is aggressively promoting to CEOs and recruiters. When you add CPE to your signature and resume, it will inform prospective employers that you have proven to panels of CEOs and other health care leaders that you have:

* Stature as a physician. To take the Tutorial, you must be a board certified, licensed physician with at least three year's experience in practice beyond residency training.

* Been successfully tested in all disciplines of medical management. To take the Tutorial, you must have completed the Graduate Program in Medical Management (formerly the Certificate in Medical Management); or completed an accredited graduate management degree which includes the following courses or equivalents as determined by the Credentials Committee: Health Care Finance, Medical Informatics, Ethics, Health Law, Quality, Managing Physician Performance, and Managing Change and Innovation; or have 200 hours of management education which has been evaluated by examination and includes the seven courses listed above.

* Demonstrated management experience. You must provide a one-page narrative describing your management experience and a letter of recommendation affirming your experience from the person to whom you report.

* Successfully completed the Tutorial with a five minute presentation describing your skills and competencies. The President of ACPE, Barbara LeTourneau, MD, MBA, CPE, FACPE, described the Tutorial in the business meeting at the 1997 Spring Institute in San Antonio. "During these five days, candidates will be given the tools necessary to demonstrate that they have the skills and competencies expected in a physician executive. It will then be up to candidates to use these tools in convincing a panel of CEOs and other health care leaders, including Fellows of the College, that they have the knowledge, competencies, and accomplishments of value in the marketplace. Candidates who succeed in this will be awarded the recognition of CPE, or Certified Physician Executive... After discussion with CEOs, recruiters, and governing boards, we know that the knowledge you can assess on written exams is necessary but insufficient. So the evaluation for the Tutorial is not another written test. It is an oral presentation that will be evaluated based on content and presentation style.

Topics covered in the Tutorial

The early parts of the Tutorial provide education and training to be used in the final presentation.

Day I

* Communication strategies

* Writing Presentations

* Listening and feedback skills

* Mentoring other potential physician executives

* Knowledge of medical management education resources

* Marketplace--What skills and competencies are employers looking for?

Day 2

* Resume preparation

* Networking

* Interviewing from both sides of the desk

* Executive image--How to dress for effectiveness

* Negotiating the job and the salary

* What to do when fired

The topics on the third and fourth and day increase physician executives' effectiveness when they already have the position they want:

Day 3

* How to write proposals and business plans

* Making presentations using four different communication styles

Day 4

* Maneuvering through organizational politics

* Finding medical management information on the Internet

* Changing physician behavior

* Dealing with disruptive physicians

After you listen to lectures each of the first four days, you go with your assigned group to a room where you practice the discussed skills in front of a video camera and then receive feedback from the seven other people in your group and a Teaching Fellow. Teaching Fellows are Fellows of the College who have taken the Tutorial, become CPEs, and have been trained to facilitate the cohort groups of eight. There is no better teacher than a video camera. Feedback from others is more believable if you can see for yourself the behavior other group members are describing. The four practice sessions during the week and available cameras some evenings give you time to change and improve your communication skills.

Day 5

On the last day, you make a video-taped presentation that demonstrates your skills and competencies to a panel of Teaching Fellows and health care leaders. The panel makes a recommendation to the Credentials Committee of the Certifying Commission in Medical Management that you be passed or deferred. Unlike the methods used for many other certifying boards where written exams are administered, the certifying process for CCMM is subjective. You must convince the panel and the Credentials Committee that you have skills and can communicate them. This presentation is a test of how effectively you will present yourself in the marketplace. You will be notified of the results in April and November.


As CPEs become widely known in the marketplace, the designation will be a valued credential that helps you get and keep desirable physician executive jobs, as well as advance to the next level in your career. ACPE is sending information to recruiters and CEOs describing the accomplishments of CPEs and letting them know that CPEs have passed a rigorous assessment, demonstrating that they have desirable skills and can communicate them well. The physician executive who has a professional appearance and can make a compelling presentation describing his or her skills and competencies is the one who will land the job and who can influence others.


I asked six physician executives who have become CPEs to tell me their reactions to the Tutorial.

Laddie L. Tackett, MD, CPE

Medical Director, United Healthcare of Kentucky, Ltd.

Lexington, Kentucky

I really enjoyed it. I thought it was fun. Not only from the standpoint of what you are learning in the lectures, but you are with peers who are giving you constructive evaluation. It was helpful to see yourself on video in this group of people and have their feedback. It was interesting to see how people handled things, and it was a chance to perform.

On the last day, you have five minutes to get your point across powerfully and concisely. There are times as an executive that you don't have a lot of time to make your paint You have to be able to condense but still relate to the person who would rather you give them a longer explanation, You must have o convincing enough presentation to make your point quickly The practice of that on the last day was useful to me. It brings the whole week in perspective because you have a goal. It's like a test You are sitting in front of one of the Fellows, a recruiter with a lot of experience, and a CEO. It is more use fu( than another written test Some people may say, "I don't feel comfortable with that," but if you are going to be a physician executive, you better get comfortable with it The week of the Tutorial also helped me understand that once we have made it through this program, we do hove a lot of skills to offer to an employer.

Virginia M. Moore, MD, CPE

Medical Director, Prudential Healthcare-North Texas

Dallas, Texas

It was a little more stressful than I needed at that point in my life. I knew there would be homework and exercises, but that big build up to the end I found stressful. Partly that goes back to my history of being one of those terrified public speakers. However, it was very good for me because the only way you get much better with public speaking is to be put to the fire over and over again, until it becomes old hat Last week I had to talk to 400, so the timing of the Tutorial was very helpful, even though it was stressful. I really needed the session on the Internet because it made me realize I'm going to hove to dig in and get more involved.

Daniel S. Ferguson, MD, MS, CPE

Medical Director, Piedmont Clinic

Atlanta, Georgia

I really enjoyed meeting folks from all over the country, getting to know them and seeing what challenges they're faced with back home. In the cohort of eight, you get to know those folks pre well over a week. That was very helpful to me. I was skeptical about the cohort sessions using video tape, and I think other people were uneasy about it but by the end of the week especially once we were all able to be together for a couple of days, I think everyone thought it was very helpful. The sessions on communication skills were useful because we are sales people for new ideas--also business planning skills, dealing with the difficult physicians. resumes, and interviewing The session on the marketplace helped me understand what is out there and where I am going.

Martin Litwin, MD, CPE

Medical Director, Tulane University Medical Group

New Orleans, Louisiana

We were in the process of developing a managed care plan for our internal employees. We developed the business plan .and implement edit We began to manage it the first of January In July of next year we will begin paying claims, rather than contracting this to an outside insurance company that would have charged us half a million dollars a year. The section on business plans was immensely helpful to me.

Ed Palank, MD, CPE, FACC

Executive Medical Director New England Heart Institute

Manchester, New Hampshire

It was excellent to get positive end negative feedback from fellow physicians in the cohorts. It also helped to have the Teaching Fellow the cohorts as a mentor who gave feedback when we were practicing con fronting a disruptive physician. The session by Larry Tyler on resumes, networking and interviewing helped me know what potential employers are looking for.

Gail V. Anderson, MD, MBA, CPE

Sr. Vice President, Medical Affairs, Grady Health System Atlanta, Georgia

I was impressed with the faculty and also with the design of the course in terms of interaction with the classmates. It was helpful in refining skills I already had. The business plan--I hod done some of that in business school, but it was good to see a practical tern plot approach. Resume development was good. Negotiating a salary is somewhat uncomfortable and understanding, the principles of negotiation skills was very helpful. Linnea Johansson's lunch description on grooming was a fun session She incorporated humor and still got the message across. Also, on the last day, the presentation was a crystallization of what you have done. It was useful to know you were able to quickly adopt and organize your thought.

Barbara J. Linney

Barbara J. Linney, MA, is the Director of Career Development at the American College of Physician Executives in Tampa, Florida and a member of its faculty. She can be reached at 800/562-8088, or via email at
COPYRIGHT 1998 American College of Physician Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Linney, Barbara J.
Publication:Physician Executive
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 1998
Previous Article:Israel--a health system in transition. (A Health System in Transition).
Next Article:Ronald P. Kaufman, MD, FACPE.

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