How Physicians Can Improve Their Relationship With Their Peers?

4 Tips for Improving Physicians Peer to Peer Relationship

Physicians and hospital administrators are highly skilled, well-trained, and experienced professionals.

In some healthcare organizations, the relationship between practicing physicians and hospital administrators can be strained, affecting mutual trust.

Some physicians may perceive that hospital administrators do not fully understand or prioritize the challenges faced in patient care.

Physicians may feel as if they are treated like line production workers, with minimum control over their schedules, their support team, and even clinical decision-making.

Similarly, some hospital administrators may feel that physicians are unaware of the organizational, management, and financial challenges of running a healthcare system or hospital.

Strained relationships between physicians and administrators can contribute to factors associated with physician burnout, such as:

  • Sense of decreased community,
  • Lack of autonomy,
  • Conflicting values,
  • Perceived lack of fairness and empathy

Improving transparency and building trust between physicians and hospital administrators can help address factors contributing to physician burnout.

This solution can help improve professional relationships, promote a healthier work environment, increase organizational and personal resilience, and improve doctor-patient experiences.

How Physicians Can Improve Their Relationship With Their Peers

How Physicians Can Improve Their Relationship With Their Peers

Steps to Coordinate and Cooperate between Physicians and Peers

Here is a simple stepwise solution to align physician and their peers on the same page:

1 – Asses the Relationship Status Between the Physician and the Peer

Before starting, evaluating the existing relationship between physicians and their peers is highly recommended. This is important to understand the issue’s urgency and to direct the work better.

  • Signs of declining physician-administrator relationships may include:
  • Increased burnout rates,
  • Higher physician turnover,
  • Potential migration of specialty groups,
  • Lower physician engagement survey ratings,
  • Challenges in forming effective strategies,
  • Instances of no-confidence votes from physicians toward administrators

If the employing organization finds any of the above signs, performing a more detailed evaluation is highly advised. One of the best ways to start this is by evaluating physicians and peers currently in a leadership role.

One approach to assessing the relationship status is to conduct a staff-wide survey focused on key aspects of leadership behavior.

2 – Open Communication Medium

Most modern healthcare organizations usually lack communication between physicians and their peers. This often leads to rumors and distrust among the two groups.

As healthcare systems have progressed, it has become more challenging for administration leaders to be in touch with, understand, and recognize the challenges faced by frontline physicians on a daily basis.

Remember, most decisions made by hospital admin staff and their direct reports have unseen consequences at the front end of the health care system. The admins’ decisions regarding IT systems, finance, HR policies, and quality initiatives highly influence the resources that physicians depend on to care for patients.

The strategic decisions made by hospital administrators greatly affect community relations and clinical care. Thus, it is imperative to maintain an open and transparent communication channel.

3 – Educate Physicians and Peers on the Other’s Roles

Healthcare professionals, especially C-level executives and members of the board of directors, are not usually connected and updated with the realities of actual patient care.

Designing an immersion or shadowing program for hospital administrators can provide them with firsthand experience of frontline physicians’ daily challenges and responsibilities.

This is a great way to bridge the knowledge gap and align healthcare organizations’ strategies and policies. A shadowing/immersion program should be planned to improve physician-peer relationships in any organization.

4 – Build Trust

Building trust is crucial in healthcare settings as it can facilitate smoother interactions and potentially reduce costs by improving efficiency and decision-making.

When physicians and admins are on the same page, they can interact with each other with more trust. This is an effective way to improve employee relationships at any healthcare organization.

Trust is essential for making prompt and effective clinical decisions in high-stakes, complex clinical cases. To achieve this, physicians and their peers need to focus on administrator-clinician dyads, collaborative strategic planning, and organizational compacts.


A healthcare organization in which physicians have healthy and trusted relationships with their peers is bound for quick success. On the other hand, an organization in which physicians and the administrative staff are in constant conflict does not have the same potential for progress and may even affect its patient care quality in the long run.

See Also

Botox Training for Physicians

Physician Assistant Salary

Physicians in High Demand

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

What is a Resident Physician?

Improving Physician Patient Relationship

Current Version
September 25, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 18, 2024
Updated By
Franco Cuevas, MD

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