Healthcare Leadership and Management for Physicians Certificate Program

Healthcare Leadership and Management for Physicians Certificate Program

The healthcare management certificate program was developed to provide early to mid-career practicing physicians the leadership, medical management and practice design knowledge needed to compete effectively in a rapidly evolving healthcare delivery and financing environment.

Program Advantages

In participating in the online physician leadership program, students will have access to:

  • Asynchronous online content delivery that allows students to select the time and place to study
  • Multiple learning resources including video, online access to articles and case studies, and active class participation through online threaded discussions with classmates and faculty
  • Innovative content that develops the personal awareness, competencies and skills practicing physicians need to achieve a competitive advantage in the new environment of healthcare delivery and reimbursement
  • Networking opportunities with colleagues and program faculty that leverage the online learning community
  • Nationally recognized faculty who combine practical healthcare delivery experience and doctoral-level content expertise

The healthcare leadership and management program for practicing physicians provides the knowledge and skills physicians need to transform their practice by adapting clinically relevant information technology, continuous improvement tools and tactics, and the capacity to improve care outcomes for individuals and groups of patients.

“This course has given me a solid foundation to embrace the upcoming changes and the ability to assess changes as they are made.”
–Program participant

Brochure Fact Sheet Admission/Enrollment
  • Connect with the Director
  • Program Details
  • Program Curriculum
  • Faculty
  • FAQs

Please contact the director for more information about the healthcare leadership and management for physicians certificate program.

Michael J. Deegan, M.D., D.M.

Clinical Professor; Healthcare Leadership and Innovation

“I would venture to guess that every physician in this group learned quite a bit. The time and attention to detail in the course material was evident and much appreciated.”
–Program participant

The asynchronous nature of the online physician management program allows students to choose where and when they will study or complete course assignments while benefiting from the complementary knowledge and experience of classmates and faculty. There are 11 content units divided into three sections. Engaged students report spending about 10 hours to complete all elements in each unit. New units are typically introduced at three-week intervals allowing flexibility in balancing program activities with professional and personal activities and responsibilities. The program is completed in 10 months. Successful completion is recognized with a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership and Management from The University of Texas at Dallas.


The program is open to licensed physicians (MD or DO) practicing in the United States. While designed to meet the needs of early to mid-career practicing physicians seeking to enhance their healthcare leadership and management knowledge and skills, the program may benefit physicians at any stage of their career, including those who have a graduate degree in healthcare management or business administration.

Program Fee

The current program fee is $3,000 dollars payable in full at time of enrollment. The fee is inclusive, covering access to all course materials, videos and assigned readings. Payment can be made online with a major credit card, by check or billed to a sponsoring organization. In the latter instance special arrangements and/or discounts may apply. Please consult with the program director for details.


Please submit the application form to be considered for admission. Applications will be reviewed promptly and an e-mail notice of admission will occur within a week of receipt of a complete application. Full payment is required before participants are registered and granted a net ID and password to access course content.

“This unit really brought home how essential IT (information technology) will be for the future of medicine, as well as the viability of practices to not only meet expected standards but to survive financially in the process. I was skeptical about an electronic health record before but now recognize its critical utility.”
–Program participant

As the U.S. healthcare delivery and financing systems transform over the next decade it is no longer sufficient for physicians to be skilled in the art and science of medicine. Practitioners who seek to lead, to survive and to thrive as part of medicine’s evolving landscape need to acquire business acumen, as well as leadership and management knowledge and skills that complement their clinical expertise.

They also need to design or re-design their practices by:

  • incorporating population health management strategies and tactics
  • increasing their emphasis on health and wellness
  • adopting clinical informatics and decision support tools that make the practice more efficient and effective
  • applying continuous performance improvement tools and tactics that enhance access and improve clinical outcomes for the patients and populations served.

The Certificate in Healthcare Leadership and Management for physicians is designed to achieve these objectives and provide practicing physicians with content knowledge and skills development in all these domains.

The curriculum is divided into 11 units organized in three sections:

Section I – Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Unit 1: Emotional Intelligence I (self-awareness, self-control, adaptability)
  • Unit 2: Emotional Intelligence II (relationship management, influence, teamwork)
  • Unit 3: Effective Communications ( personal capacity building, crucial conversations)

Section II – Leading and Managing in an Inter-Dependent World

  • Unit 4: Leaders, Managers and Followers (roles and responsibilities of each)
  • Unit 5: Leading Change through Adaptive Leadership (concept, making it work)
  • Unit 6: Conflict and Negotiation (nature of conflict, negotiation strategy and tactics)

Section III – Providing Value-Based Care for Individuals and Groups

  • Unit 7: Practice-based Population Health Management (tools and tactics)
  • Unit 8: Practice-based Performance Improvement (learning and improvement, metrics)
  • Unit 9: Informatics and Clinical Decision Support (importance, applications to practice)
  • Unit 10: Teams and Teamwork (health and primary care teams, working together)
  • Unit 11: Value for Patients and Payers (defining value, payer perspective)

The content for each unit is delivered using a variety of video, audio and reading assignments available on a BlackBoard-enabled E-learning platform. The content videos are professionally produced and accompanied with a complete slide set that permits a student to take notes as they study the video. Public domain supplementary videos complement core material, giving participants access to recognized experts and differing perspectives on unsettled or controversial topics.

“Unit 8 was rich with information. The videos were excellent and clear in intent. I have already been able to implement several of the models for improvement in the Department of Medicine.”
–Chair of Medicine; program participant

A course innovation and highlight for students is an opportunity to select one of two case studies in which to practice and apply newly acquired knowledge.

The Bailey Clinic – that tells the story of a successful seven physician general internal medicine practice as it transforms from traditional care to a Patient Centered Medical Home utilizing an interdisciplinary, physician-led team to provide care for its 25,000 affiliated patients and families.

The Synergy Hospitalist Group – In contrast to the Baily Clinic, the Synergy Hospitalist Group case study and exercises highlight the challenges associated with merging three independent hospitalist groups into a single hospital-employed group practice and the hurdles the group has to overcome as they work with the hospital executives and clinical leaders to improve patient outcomes and hospital efficiency and effectiveness.

A new chapter of each group’s journey accompanies each unit. Students apply their newly acquired knowledge and insights from the class to help clinic leadership resolve differences and move toward their goal. This approach strengthens the shared learning among classmates who benefit from reading one another’s online posts and the accompanying faculty commentary.

“Overall, I felt the case study was one of the best examples of this type of learning. As we went through the case with each unit the anticipation of ‘what could happen next’ really promoted a lot of thought.”

“I like reading the responses from classmates because I can learn so much from their experiences.”
–Program participant

Program Director: Michael J. Deegan, M.D., D.M.

Dr. Michael (Mike) Deegan is a Clinical Professor for Healthcare Leadership and & Innovation in the Naveen Jindal School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Before joining the University faculty in 2012, Dr. Deegan was Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical & Quality Officer for Texas Health Resources (THR), the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in North Texas. During his tenure with THR, Dr. Deegan was responsible for the organization’s internal and external quality and patient safety programs, system medical staff affairs activities for 13 wholly owned hospitals, and the THR Education & Research Institute; the organization’s center for clinical research and continuing medical education.

Prior to joining THR, Dr. Deegan served in a series of physician leadership and management positions including senior vice president and chief medical officer in another multi-hospital delivery system and as a regional chief medical officer with the Henry Ford Medical Group & Health System, where he spent 14 years as a clinician, teacher, investigator and physician manager and leader.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Deegan held full-time faculty positions at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and Emory University (Atlanta) Schools of Medicine.

Dr. Deegan has many interests, foremost among them physician leadership and management education and development, clinical quality and patient safety performance improvement and innovative educational methods.

Dr. Deegan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA), a Medical Doctor degree (with honors) from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a Doctor of Management degree from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH).

  • As a physician, why should I invest time and money in a program like this?

    Gaps in undergraduate medical education and residency training leave physicians poorly prepared to manage a practice or lead colleagues and staff in the operational and business aspects of care delivery.

    Healthcare delivery in the U.S. is in the midst of transformational change necessitating the acquisition of new knowledge and skills if physicians are to survive and thrive in the future.

    The changing care delivery environment and emerging models for care delivery place greater emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, clinical informatics, continuous performance improvement, and practice-based population health management knowledge and competence domains most physicians are unfamiliar with and can learn from this program.

    Ideal for practicing physicians who recognize some or all of these needs but who are not ready to invest the time, money and effort required to obtain a graduate business or healthcare management degree.

  • What will I learn by participating in healthcare management courses?

    The program is a thoughtful blend of three content domains and related competencies:

    • Interpersonal and communication skills: provides participants with a deeper awareness and appreciation of the “soft skills” needed to lead and manage others.
    • Core management and leadership subject matter: guides participants to recognize and appreciate the different contributions of managers and leaders and the often under-recognized or appreciated contributions of engaged followers.
    • Practice design/re-design knowledge and tactics: this section highlights topics of increasing relevance to effective, efficient care delivery that is patient-centric and value oriented. Managing patient populations while striving to continuously improve care processes and utilize clinical information technology are newer knowledge and skill sets that fill the space between mainstream clinical knowledge and business practices. Few practicing physicians have been systematically exposed to these content domains.

  • Can I fit the program into my busy life?

    The program was specifically designed for busy practicing physicians:

    • Access to the course is available on a 24 hour – 7 day basis from hard-wired or wireless access points, permitting students to select a convenient time and place to study course material or complete related assignments.
    • Program graduates report spending about 10 hours of effort on each unit’s content or approximately 120 hours during a 10-month period; about three hours per week.

  • What is the online educational experience like?

    • Using a tablet, laptop or desktop computer (Mac or Windows – PC formats supported) and a high-speed Internet connection students can easily access course content through the course homepage on a 24/7 basis.
    • The content of each unit is maintained in a single folder and all videos, reading assignments, case studies and quizzes for each unit are available from the unit folder with a single click.
    • A benefit of online learning is the ability to return to any of the course materials for a second or third look to re-explore subject matter or clarify a fine point or observation.
    • Overall, program participants have been pleased with their online learning experience regarding ease of access, quality of content and interaction with program faculty and classmates.
  • What are the program admission requirements?

    • At the present time, the program is open to physicians licensed to practice in the U.S.
    • Completing the online application (see tab) will provide all the information required for admission.
  • When may I begin the program?

    The program is delivered to a cohort of participants. Individual physicians may enroll in a class by completing the online application and selecting a cohort from the list of program start dates indicated on this site. If no dates are listed please contact the Program Director – Dr. Michael Deegan at Course access will only be granted after approval of a complete application and receipt of full payment. Participants can anticipate the course will be completed within ten months of the start date.

    Organizations (professional societies, hospitals, medical groups, healthcare deliverysystems, others) may enroll a group of participating physicians. Start and completion dates for the course, fees, and special features should be discussed with Program Director Dr. Michael Deegan by contacting him at or 972-883-5808 (central time zone).

  • How can I obtain a brochure about this certificate program?

    You may download the brochure or fact sheet and print at your convenience.