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The Physician CEO™ Program

The Essential Complement to a Medical Education

The Physician CEO™ program is developed by SurgiVision® Consultants, Inc. in collaboration with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a top-rated business school for executive education.

This program is unique in its focus on practice growth. Other programs train physicians to be managers, to run hospitals and to comply with regulations and billing procedures. The Physician CEO™ program is different. It is explicitly entrepreneurial and focuses on topics relevant to physician leadership, particularly around patient-pay medicine.

The Physician CEO™ program provides an intensive, MBA-style experience to train physicians with essential business skills. The program consists of four 5-day “Modules” presented approximately 10 weeks apart. Each module is organized around core topics of interest to physicians across all patient-pay medicine specialties. Targeted specialties include ophthalmology, plastic surgery, cosmetic dermatology, concierge medical practices, fertility, anti-aging, orthopedics and other specialty areas.

In-person, live discussions are an essential component of business education. While an online course might seem to be more convenient, experience shows that there is no substitute for live teaching—especially given the high caliber professors at Kellogg, and the highly qualified participants in this program.

The Physician CEO™ program is designed specifically for physicians from both within and outside the United States. Course structure, cases, assignments, and general focus are directly relevant to running your medical practice. Major emphasis is given to strategy, leadership, negotiations, marketing, operations, finance, corporate structures, and legal topics, among others.

Modules are designed to match the rapid learning pace of physicians, and provide optimal exposure across the key functions of a Lifestyle medical practice.
We hope you will join us for this exciting experience as you transition to become a Physician CEO™!

Upcoming Sessions

  • Apply Online
    Module 1: January 23-27, 2016
    Module 2: April 16-20, 2016
    Module 3: June 4-8, 2016
    Module 4: September 17-21, 2016
    Program Consists of All 4 Modules.
This program is specifically designed for physicians who currently or plan to practice “cash pay” medicine.

Participation in the Physician CEO™ is limited to physicians who are board-certified or board-eligible in a recognized medical and/or surgical specialty. We welcome participants at all experience levels, whether you are just starting or have built a full-fledged practice.

Of note, administrators, assistants, physician’s assistants, residents and other personnel are not eligible to participate. Class size is limited to 50 physicians per program.

Upon completing the Physician CEO™ program, you will:

  1. Oversee your practice, including marketing, finance, operations, personnel, contracts and other key administrative areas
  2. Empower yourself as a leader, and appreciate the impact that your leadership style has on your practice
  3. Recognize your competitive situation and formulate strategies that will allow you to survive and thrive
  4. Bring an entrepreneurial focus to your practices’ growth
  5. Negotiate win-win agreements with suppliers and customers
  6. Lead collaborative teams to solve problems and create new innovations
  7. Create and manage strategic alliances with other businesses
  8. Build and leverage your network
  9. Develop a confident understanding of financial statements and have a framework to evaluate investing, financing and operational decisions
  10. Analyze your practice to understand the costs and benefits of each service

The Physician CEO™ program is designed to accommodate the physician’s busy schedule. It is presented in four (4) modules spaced approximately 10 weeks apart. Modules run from Saturday evening to Wednesday afternoon so you do not miss a full week at work.

The program includes meals, accommodations and instruction – all of which take place at the Allen Center in Evanston. This living and learning facility was designed for participants’ convenience and is nestled along Northwestern University’s lakefront campus.

Expand the sections below to learn more about each module.

Module 1 - Transitioning to a Physician CEO™

Becoming a Physician CEO™ provides the framework of what it means to be a leader. Led by world-renowned faculty, this module distinguishes leadership from management and provides concrete examples of how effective leaders convey vision and develop effective teams. Key topics include:

  1. Insights from successful CEOs on how to lead successful organizations
  2. An in-depth analysis of who creates and captures value in the medical system
  3. Entrepreneurship – what it means, when it works, how to create it
  4. Negotiating essentials
  5. Crisis management
  6. Identifying and creating alliances
  7. Managing cognitive biases
  8. Networks and persuasion

The module combines classroom lectures with extensive discussions, group exercises and a guest speaker. Deliverables include the creation of a specific “three dimensions of change” action plan to take back to your practice for immediate implementation. This module builds the foundation for the next steps on the journey to implementing change.

Module 2 - Positioning Your Practice for Growth

Branding and marketing are Kellogg’s hallmarks.  With its thoughtful approach that goes beyond the basic marketing mix, this module will prepare you to seize the opportunity to solve you most pervasive challenges.

This module is presented by some of the most insightful and respected faculty at Kellogg, and the concepts are universal. Topics include:

  1. Consumer insights
  2. Branding
  3. Persuasion
  4. Effective use of data
  5. Leveraging patient-oriented social media
  6. Developing sustainable  marketing methods

The best marketing is done through patient referrals, or “internal marketing.” Developing a strong internal marketing campaign is not free, nor is it easy, but doing so positions a practice for sustainable growth and  helps optimally allocate advertising dollars. This module will focus on analysis of strong internal marketing programs.

You will evaluate your own positioning and begin refining your approach using the concepts presented. Considerations range from your practice’s presence in the community to the message’s delivery.

In addition to methodology, this module provides an extensive survey of the critical elements of a successful marketing program, so you can position your practice for growth in the expanding field of patient-pay medicine.


Module 3 - Building a High Performance Practice

Many medical practices employ a business-as-usual approach to operations, which could lead to a subpar patient experience. Operations analysts recognize that operational efficiency translates into profits. Some of these questions include: Why do bottlenecks occur? When does it make sense to add more equipment and personnel? Is it really necessary for patients to wait? Could the office visit be structured more efficiently? Where is the physician spending time, and where would it be spent more efficiently?

Many physicians cannot describe which of their services are most profitable and confuse higher price with higher profitability. This is often not the case. Being able to tie every activity in the clinic to profitability is an essential skill for every Physician CEO™.

Medical practices evolve. What might have been optimal last year may no longer work. In a field as dynamic and growing as patient-pay medicine, it is critical to manage change effectively.

This module conveys the CEO approach to optimizing staff, leading highly effective teams, and evaluating practice operations. It will explain how to assign costs to each activity so you can understand where you are and are not making money. Experienced CEOs will present real-world case studies throughout in-depth discussions about the CEO’s role in change management and optimizing the staff’s utility.

Specific topics include:

  1. Aligning operations with practice strategy
  2. The physician CEO™ as a coach
  3. Procedure pricing models
  4. Leading highly effective teams
  5. Strategic talent management
  6. Integrating information technology into the patient experience
  7. Maximizing your operational effectiveness
  8. The CEO’s role in decisive change management

Module 4 - The Physician CEO™ Approach to Finances and Opportunities

While you don’t have to be an accountant, the CEO should understand the language of finance, be able to interpret financial statements and monitor all the practice’s financing and accounting activities.

This module provides an overview of a medical practice’s financial concerns. The major financial statement (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement and statement of shareholder’s equity) are examined, with practical approaches about how to interpret them. Participants learn how to evaluate profitability, identify trends, spot vulnerabilities and make financial decisions.

Module four also evaluates the pros and cons of patient financing options, provides an overview of how medical practices are valuated and presents the various business structures for building associations between practices.

Specific topics include:

  1. Reading and interpreting financial statements
  2. Evaluating investment and financing decisions
  3. Approaches to oversee your practice’s finances
  4. Patient credit strategies—costs, risks and opportunities
  5. Valuing a practice and strategies for enhancing practice valuation
  6. Roll ups, franchises and IPOs
  7. Legal constraints and opportunities

As the culmination of the Physician CEO™ program, Module four devotes a significant portion of time to presentations of the “1, 3 and 5 year Plans for Growth” by participants, with group collaboration and feedback.

Gad Allon - Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Timothy Calkins - Clinical Professor of Marketing

Timothy Feddersen - Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics Professor of Managerial Economics & Decision Sciences

Lisa A Fortini-Campbell - Adjunct Professor of Executive Education

Mana Ionescu - Founder of Lightspan Digital

Steve King - Director of Executive Education at University Wisconsin; President SDK Group

Harry M. Kraemer - Clinical Professor of Strategy

Lakshman Krishnamurthi - A. Montgomery Ward Professor of Marketing

Kate Levan - Owner and Managing Partner LeVan Partners

David Matsa - Associate Professor of Strategy

Mark McDonald - Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

J. Keith Murnighan - Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Risk Management Professor of Management & Organizations

Mitchell A. Petersen - Glen Vasel Professor of Finance Director of the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital

John Philbin - Managing Partner of Strategic Talent Solutions

Marian Powers - Adjunct Professor of Executive Education

Derek D. Rucker - Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing Professor of Marketing

David Schonthal - Co-Founder and Partner of Fusion Ventures, an investment and advisory firm focused on growing technology

Jeroen Swinkels - Richard M. Paget Professor of Management Policy Professor of Strategy

Leigh Thompson - J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations Professor of Management & Organizations Director of Kellogg Team and Group Research Center Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Brian Uzzi - Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change Co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) Faculty Director, Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI) Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School (Courtesy) Professor of Sociology, Weinberg College (Courtesy)

Robert Wolcott - Clinical Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kellogg Innovation Network

Jim Woodrum - Clinical Assistant Professor of Executive Education

Edward Zajac - James F. Bere Professor of Management & Organizations


Submit your application online to the Physician CEO™ program by clicking the “Apply” button above. No application fee is required.

You will receive an email confirmation upon completion. Applicants will be notified of their admission status within 30 days of submitting the application.

Early application is encouraged as class size is limited to 50 participants per program. Applications are reviewed upon submission and participants are accepted on a rolling basis until capacity is reached.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Physician CEO™ program!


Participants in the Physician CEO Program will be housed at the James L. Allen Center, the hub of the Kellogg School of Management's Executive Education program in Evanston, IL.

For Terms and Condition of Participation in the Physician CEO™ Program, Click Here

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