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Developing the skills you need to thrive professionally in today’s health care environment

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. It’s important you are present all-day for the three in-person sessions. If you are unable to attend all three sessions, then it’s best register for the PLC when you can.

The full curriculum for the WSMA Physician Leadership Course is detailed below. The max capacity for the course is 30 participants. Individuals or group/system teams are encouraged to apply!

In-person course details

Course dates for 2025 coming soon.

Virtual-only course details

The virtual-only Physician Leadership course will be held Oct. 4–Dec. 13, 2024. The first two live virtual sessions are Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5. Course participants will then have 11 weeks of online instruction and interaction, finishing with a third live virtual session on Friday, Dec. 13. The deadline for registration is Sept. 4, 2024. Register now.


Edward A. Walker, MD, MHA

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 and senior physician advisor for the WSMA Center for Leadership Development.

Learn more about the course from Dr. Ed Walker and hear what PLC graduates have to say about growing their leadership skills to drive positive change in health care.

Cancellation policy

Refunds are available for live event registration depending on when the refund is requested in relation to the start of the course.

  • 91 days or more until start of event: a 100% refund less a $100 processing fee per person
  • 61–90 days until start of event: a 75% refund
  • 31–60 days until start of event: a 25% refund
  • 30 days or less until start of event: no refund

The WSMA reserves the right to cancel the course. If so, preregistered participants will be notified, and full refunds provided. No shows will receive no refund. Registrations may not be transferred to another person at any time. A participant may transfer registration one time to the next available course if space permits. All subsequent transfers of registration will incur a change fee of $250. All refunds will be issued to the original form of payment.

For in-person courses, the WSMA cannot be held responsible for other costs or expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, travel agencies, or hotels.

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/Live
Module 1: Managing Yourself and Others: Personal Style and Emotional Intelligence
Module 2: Managing the Organization – Teams and Culture: Working in Teams and Basics of Coaching

Unit 2 – Quality and Patient Safety

Week 2 – Online
Module 3: Performance Improvement Basics

Week 3 – Online
Module 4: Patient Safety, Error Reduction, and High-Reliability Organizations

Week 4 – Online
Module 5: Disclosure of Error and 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: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Leadership

Week 10 – Online
Module 11: Capstone Case Formulation

Week 11 – In-person/Live
Module 12: Planning for Next Steps: Communication, Influence, Feedback, Conflict & Negotiation

No partial AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ will be awarded for the online activity.

CME and MOC Credit

CME credit

The Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) 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.

MOC credit

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:

  • 40 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program;
  • 40 MOC points in the American Board of Anesthesiology’s (ABA) redesigned Maintenance of Certification in AnesthesiologyTM (MOCA®) program, known as MOCA 2.0®. Please consult the ABA website,, for a list of all MOCA 2.0 requirements;
  • 40 part II self-assessment credit in the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery’s Continuing Certification (ABOHNS) program (formerly known as MOC);
  • 40 MOC points in the American Board of Pathology’s (ABPath) MOC program;
  • 40 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) MOC program;
  • 40 MOC points for the CME requirement of the American Board of Surgery’s (ABS) Continuous Certification program; and
  • 40 MOC points in the American Board of Thoracic Surgery’s (ABTS) MOC program.

It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM or ABP MOC credit.

To claim MOC credit, learners must earn a minimum of 75% on all online quizzes and participate in the live portions of the course, including participating in role play exercises.


The content of this activity is not related to products or services of an ACCME-defined ineligible company, also known as a commercial interest; therefore no one in control of content has a relevant financial relationship to disclose.


The WSMA may have a photographer or videographer on-site at this event to gather imagery for use by the WSMA in its communications materials and channels as well as for media outreach. These images will be the property of the WSMA, and the WSMA will not sell or otherwise market event imagery. If you have any questions regarding imagery taken at a WSMA event, please contact Milana McLead at

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