“Physician Pathway to Possibility” – A 6-Month Physician Training Program

Professional Effectiveness in Leadership and Business

Introducing a 6-month Distance Learning Professional Training and Development for Physicians Who Want to Trail-blaze, Transform, Innovate…. and Open up Possibilities

Invitation from the Program Director

From: Francine Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
Executive Director, The Physician Coaching Institute

Dear Physician Colleague,

Whether developing a quality program, initiating a patient safety program, implementing a new EMR, developing a new service line, launching a new product or start-up, or transitioning into a non-clinical venture, there is no shortage of daunting challenges physicians are tackling!

While most physician training courses and physician MBA programs will provide a certain type of business management knowledge, the frank truth is that many physician leaders still find themselves viewed as unprofessional or ineffective by their peers and non-clinical executives. Stories are all too common of physician leaders and entrepreneurs getting fired, ignored or passed over because they lacked “depth” or “communication skills” or “political sensitivity.”  Indeed, a few of these talented doctors came to me for coaching after they received this startling feedback.

Here is the real scoop:  There are critical skills and competencies you will never learn in an MBA program or in most leadership courses.  Some of these competencies include influencing, canvasing, enrolling, inspiring, getting what you want, promoting an idea, selling yourself, thinking creatively, and  getting people and organizations to change.   Moreover, this is a level of business and leadership acumen that is particularly foreign to many physicians—probably because as clinicians we rarely required it!  Our clinical expertise and analysis is where physicians have mastery, but  unfortunately doctors are typically narrow when it comes to leadership and  people and idea management in a non-clinical realm.

Once you’re in a leadership or business role, your success depends much less on your clinical expertise—and in fact not so even so much on your business knowledge or your MBA (Any smart physician can learn how to read a financial spreadsheet).

Rather, your effectiveness will be evaluated based on different criteria:

Can you defuse tension between sparring colleagues; Can you inspire a team or organization to do something they’ve never done before; Can you sell an intangible idea to investors; Can you promote a project to your executive team so you are resourced as a priority; Can you “read” an organization’s culture and have them act on the solutions to help them evolve?

These are just a few of the communication and  transformation skills every  CMO, CMIO, VPMA, Medical Director, Entrepreneur, Chair, Program Leader, or Physician Business Consultant should be developing if you want to lead their organization or yourself to what’s Possible.

But wait, there is another category of critical competencies physicians in business and leadership need: Career resilience. If you are currently in a business or leadership role, you actually don’t have  much “job security” or stability—not when compared with a practicing family physician or dermatologist or any other physician specialty.  The turnover and uncertainty in non-clinical roles is much higher than most physicians realize.  And as for being an independent consultant or entrepreneur, well, you’re essentially unemployed every day.

Career resilience competency encompasses strategies for career fulfillment, career expansion, career transition and career advancement.  For some it also means salvaging a career.  Every physician leader should learn and implement career resilience strategies to ensure you are establishing yourself as a highly-valued resource and to guard against pessimism and  burn out.   Strategies such as developing a leverage portfolio that will vault you into a new project or career area, promoting yourself into projects that are an exciting challenge for you, establishing your expertise and thought leadership in a particular field through writing and speaking, and creating a network of allies and mentors.

From my 14+ years of physician coaching I’ve developed a specialized Physician Success Inquiry Method and set of tools specifically designed to help physicians develop critical business navigation, transformational leadership and career resilience skills.  Your pathway to extraordinary achievement  and possibilities is paved by mastering these competencies. I look forward to having you in our upcoming cohort.


Francine Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE

Program Overview

The Physician Pathway to Possibility is a  unique high-impact leadership and professional development  program.    Taught in a small group setting by live teleconference over 6 months, with a  2-day on-site communication workshop capstone, you will have access to the proprietary leadership, communication and career resilience  concepts and tools Dr. Francine Gaillour uses with her private  Platinum Program Executive Coaching  clients.

These are the same tools, concepts and action plans that have helped hundreds of physicians from various specialties and stages of their healthcare leadership and business career to  achieve extraordinary  transformation and breakthroughs.  In addition to the professional development tools, you get individualized coaching to help you implement these strategies in your unique “learning lab” —- your own organization or situation.  You will NOT be sitting on the sidelines listening to lectures; the strategies will be tailored to your particular challenge, your strengths, your talents, and your opportunities.

Your participation in the  Physician Pathway to Possibility program  will also earn you a “Physician Leader of Possibility” Certification, awarded by the Physician Coaching Institute, which you can use on your resume, CV, career portfolio, and marketing materials in the future. This certification recognizes the additional transformational leadership skills you’ve acquired to guide your organization and your team to  new possibilities.

Who Should Participate in Physician Pathway to Possibility:

Physicians who aspire to transform, innovate, lead, advance, or transition

Physician executives , such as VPMA, CMO, Medical Director, Department Chair, who have not had the time or opportunity to design a strengths-based personal leadership plan, and learn critical communication skills

Physician leaders and MD entrepreneurs new to your role  as a business person and in need of some invaluable tips and “polish” that will help you navigate smoothly in a business environment

Physicians who have  completed an MBA, MMM or MHA and now want to get a return on the investment with a Personal Strategic Career Plan  that gets you in front of  opportunities and decision-makers.

Physicians open to professional development and introspection as a door to tremendous personal growth, no matter where you are in your career or leadership role

Physicians  starting a consulting, speaking or seminar business on the side of your clinical practice or leadership role and need an understanding of your unique strengths and business value-add

Physicians early to midway in your career who want to build resilience and plan for career alternatives and course corrections in this new era of healthcare evolution, reform and change

Physicians who are mid-career and feeling unfilled with clinical practice, and want to learn strategies for getting more out of your current situation, your staff and your self

Program Description

A Professional Foundation that will support positive change and improvements

Developing the business and communication competencies you need  requires a different approach to learning than a typical physician CME course where you’ve sat in a conference room, listening to multiple speakers.  The objective of the Physician Pathway to Possibility program is to move you into strategic action.  You’ll be introduced to key concepts in a way that is personalized for YOU, and then given time and coaching so you can successfully implement the Action Plans in your organization, your business and your life.  Working in a coaching cohort  together for 6 months, methodically layering the strategies with skills-building and implementation coaching, is the key to creating  the transformational experience ahead for you.

There are THREE integrated components to the Physician Pathway to Possibility program:

1. Twelve Learning Modules delivered via live Teleseminars Over 6 Months

Each Module consists of  a live 75-minute interactive Teleseminar addressing the topic and allowing time for personalized tailoring of the topic for the cohort members.  Each Module handout is available in hard copy form as well as downloadable digital file. On the Student-only webpage you’ll find additional reading  and links to relevant materials.  Teleseminars are recorded so if you have to miss a session, you can listen to the audio replay within hours, also available on the Student-only webpage.

Here are the Core Topics at a glance we’ll cover in the Learning Modules:

Self-Awareness of Your Strengths, Values and Personality Hard-Wiring – You won’t know where you’re going until you know who you are. An important foundation in leadership and career development is understanding what you do best and what’s most important to you.  Fulfillment and success come from making your strengths, talents, and passions  the center of your work, and then using your values to guide crucial decisions.  Some of your strengths are hard-wired personality traits, and some are the experiences you’ve accumulated. If you are lacking clarity in your professional life, this foundational work will be eye-opening.

Enrolling Others, Turning People Around and Inviting Change – Your ability to move people forward through a change project—or to gain “buy-in” or sell an idea—without much more than the power of your voice and message is perhaps the “most wanted” competency of physician business leaders.  While logic of an argument and research behind an initiative is important, what people really buy into is YOU and your authentic presence and credibility.  We’ll lay the groundwork for enrollment of others, and during our optional 2-day Workshop these skills will be honed.

Leveraging Yourself for Solid Accomplishments and Recognition -  Building a Leverage Portfolio of accomplishments will be the springboard for an advanced position, plumb projects or new non-clinical opportunity.  All physician leaders can outline their responsibilities, but few can claim to extraordinary accomplishments.  The difference this makes for your organization and for your career is huge, particularly for physicians transitioning into non-clinical role, or leaders moving from one role to another.  Preparing yourself for accomplishment and results must be proactive and methodical.  It will cause you to stretch in directions that will not only surprise you but also win the hearts and minds of your colleagues.

Establishing Structures and Metrics to Achieve Personal and Team Results-  Implementation of a project or initiative requires that you know how to charter a team and manage to milestones.  This is rarely done well in healthcare teams, even when the physician leader has an MBA.  While vision one side of the coin when it comes to getting things done, the flip side is difficult.  The other aspect is organizing a team so roles are clear,  deliverables are agreed upon, milestones are established, and reporting is scheduled.

Championing  a Vision as a Thought Leader, Advisor and Innovator-  Knowing what you stand for and having the courage to put it out there is a mark of a visionary.  A fundamental step, though, is to create an environment of open collaboration and idea-creation—in an environment of innovation, the vision can come from anyone! Championing a vision requires specific skills to open up creative, collaborative dialogue.  If you are independent entrepreneur, your entire business may hinge on you as thought leader and creative facilitator. In either case, getting all ideas and messages out there through blogs, forums, social media, and speaking has multiple advantages for your organization and your career.

Exploring Potential Career Direction and Strategy plus Enrolling the Help of Allies -  Thinking about where you go next in your leadership or physician executive career can and should start while you’re in your current chapter.  Planning is not done  in a vacuum however. There are Career strategy Criteria to reference, Allies to assist you and Ideas to explore.   You will learn how to cultivate network of Allies, a cadre of individuals within and outside your organization who are your advocates, mentors and connectors.  They will guide you multiple directions your professional path or next chapter can take  you—many of which you’re not currently aware of. Finally, a Physician Power Resume or Media Bio is the by-product of pulling together multiple pieces including your Leverage Portfolio, authentic strengths and vision.

2. Individual Strategy Coaching Sessions

Your situation is unique, so there will be an opportunity for three one-on-one coaching sessions with Dr. Gaillour to drill down further and design your development roadmap.  The first session, Your Personal Strategy Kick-Off, will occur early in the program, and gives you an opportunity to share with Dr. Gaillour your goals, aspirations, current situation and obstacles.  With this insight Dr. Gaillour will be able to tailor the group Learning Module Teleseminar discussions to your journey.  Future Strategy Coaching sessions will be arranged according to your time-table and agenda.  From previous coaching cohorts, sessions have focused on topics such as proposals, resumes, article in progress, contract negotiation, performance appraisals, book outlines, and conflict resolution.

3. Mastermind Discussions

Separate from our Learning Module Telemseminars, the cohort group will come together 4 times—approximately once a month— during our 6-month journey for open-agenda discussion among participants. This additional group time allows us to address issues that come up for you in your “home base” as you implement the strategies and to get on-the-spot coaching.  The Mastermind discussions also provide an additional forum to add or continue an “off topic” sidebar idea that emerged during a Learning Module Teleseminar.  As with the Learning Module Teleseminars, we will audio record these sessions for later mp3 playback.

A Two-Day On-Site Capstone: “Physician Business and Leadership Communication Workshop”

Learning together by teleseminar and teleconference is a proven  approach to professional and leadership development.   On top of the twice a month Learning Module Teleseminars and monthly Mastermind sessions, an additional layer of learning is an optional on-site Physician Business and Leadership Communication Workshop, held in the Seattle, WA area approximately 3-6 months after our Program kick-off. Physician Leaders and business entrepreneurs make or break their future by how well they communicate.  In addition to coming together and meeting your cohort members in person, the Workshop provides the best forum for intense skills-building in two areas of Leadership Communication.  Your cohort group will decide together whether and when the On-site workshop will take place. [A minimum number of cohort members are required.]

The first skills area is Coaching Skills—this is a must-have for leaders who want to create a bridge with peers, connect with others, confront naysayers, interview stakeholders, or guide a team member. You will learn and practice essential Coaching skills including Level 1 and Level 2 listening, clarifying for understanding, probing and reflecting for connection, and offering structures for moving forward.

The second skills area is High Level Representation Speaking Skills– presenting to decision makers such as a supervisor, executive team, board or committee.  Asking for and getting what you want, or presenting an idea and desiring a specific outcome are just a couple of reasons it behooves physicians to be expert at presenting to decision-makers.  You will learn how to prepare for your audience by first understanding their challenges and their communication preferences.  How can you problem-solve for them?  Then you’ll learn and practice a proven technique for framing your communication to get a ‘yes’ to the next step.

Participation Criteria and Application

The Physician Pathway to Possibility is for a select group of physicians who are ready to step up to their potential.  The program will require your engagement in a self-development, leadership-polishing, communication skills-building and career management process unlike anything you’ve experienced.  As a member of a cohort of like-minded physicians you will embark on a journey self-improvement that expects you will  open yourself to new ideas, engage in constructive dialogue, and practice  new skills. Also as a member of a cohort, we’ll agree to respect each other, build trust and keep in confidence our interactions.

Specific Enrollment Guidelines:

Make sure you can answer “yes” to each of the following statements:

____ I have completed medical training and am now 3+ years post-residency or fellowship

____ I can commit to the time, energy and financial investment necessary to learn and apply the strategies
____ I am in good standing with my group, organization, health system, or community
____ I can commit to an intense 6-month training program
____ I value integrity, honesty, and collegiality

Exploration and Application Process

You are encouraged to attend to get an overview of the program directly from Dr. Gaillour, learn more details and ask questions.   Physician Pathway to Possibility is offered twice a year and has limited enrollment.  Most of the spots are filled by physicians from a single organization.


For healthcare organization who want to develop “bench strength” among your emerging physician leaders, this unique leadership and professional development program can be customized to fit with your strategic plans for physician leadership development.

To discuss enrolling your physician leadership group in the Physician Pathway to Possibility course, contact Kelly Johnson, program coordinator, kelly@physicianleadership.com, (206) 686-4205.