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Physician Leadership Course

Physician Leadership Course

The WSMA Physician Leadership Course is a 40+ hour hybrid-distance leadership skills-development course for physicians and physician assistants who want to know more about health care leadership.

Once out of residency, many physicians will find themselves leading a multidisciplinary team charged with delivering the highest quality care to our patients. To be an effective team leader, core leadership competencies are required—skills not taught in medical school. Without these skills, physicians may find themselves unprepared and overburdened with unexpected responsibilities—a recipe for burnout.

The WSMA is committed to helping physicians develop the skills they need to thrive professionally in today’s health care environment, regardless of the type or size of your organization. Developing core leadership competencies can strengthen clinician resilience, improve time and stress management, and help you achieve greater workflow efficiency.

The WSMA Physician Leadership Course combines face-to-face and online learning to enable course participants to begin developing and honing their leadership skills at their convenience. Designed with a physician's busy schedule in mind, only three in-person classes are required; the remainder of the course is conducted online.

Course details

The fall 2020 course will be held Sep. 18-Dec. 11. The in-person classes will be held Friday and Saturday, Sep. 18-19 in Seattle. Course participants will then have eight weeks of online instruction and interaction, finishing with a third in-person session on Friday, Dec. 11.

The full curriculum for the WSMA Physician Leadership Course is detailed below. The course is limited to 30 participants. Individuals or group/system teams are encouraged to apply. The tuition for the course is: WSMA Member: $2,250; Non-member: $2,800. A 5 percent discount is offered for groups of five or more.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Details on CME credit are included in the curriculum information below.


This course is led by Edward A. Walker, MD, MHA, professor emeritus in the departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and health services at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Register for the Physician Leadership Course

Register online for the Physician Leadership Course. Questions? Contact Monica Salgaonkar at 206.956.3641 or

Physician Leadership Course Curriculum

This is a course for physicians and physician assistants who want to know more about health care leadership. Many physicians and PAs who take this course will go on to further training and become leaders and managers in their local clinical care settings. The course is a basic "boot camp" to familiarize physicians with the four important components of health care leadership: performance improvement, patient safety and high reliability; leadership and management of individuals, teams and organizations; planning and finance; and creating and maintaining a personal leadership development plan.

Course philosophy

The course is designed from a social-constructivist point of view, which maintains that experienced adult learners do best when they work in teams to build new understandings of their previous experience by developing new, better-informed mental models. We will work in teams, sometimes face to face and at other times asynchronously, using multimedia resources and health care-oriented case scenarios to acquire a basic understanding of leadership, management and quality improvement.


Unit 1 – Leadership and Management

Week 1 – In person
Module 1: Managing Yourself and Others
Module 2: Managing the Organization – Teams and Culture

Unit 2 – Quality and Patient Safety

Week 2 – Online
Module 3: Performance Improvement Basics

Week 3 – Online
Module 4: Patient Safety, Error Reduction

Week 4 – Online
Module 5: Disclosure of Error and the Just Culture

Unit 3 – Planning and Budgeting

Week 5 – Online
Module 6: Personal and Short Range Planning

Week 6 – Online
Module 7: Long Range and Strategic Planning

Week 7 – Online
Module 8: Finance 101 – Budgets and Revenue Management

Unit 4 – Synthesis and Application

Week 8 – Online
Module 9: Engaging Physicians in Change

Week 9 – Online
Module 10: Capstone Case Formulation

Week 10 – In person
Module 11: Planning for Next Steps

Presentation of your capstone project on the final day is required as assessment for the online portion of the course. No partial AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ will be awarded for the online activity.

CME Accreditation

The WSMA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The WSMA designates this Other activity (blended course of live instruction and online enduring materials) for a maximum of 40 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for up to 40 hours of Category I CME credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

Dates of release/termination

This activity is available from January-December 2020. This activity was last reviewed and approved for CME credit October 22, 2019.


The content of this activity is not related to products or services of an ACCME-defined commercial interest; therefore no one in control of content has a relevant financial relationship to disclose and there is no potential for conflicts of interest.

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