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Physician Leadership Academy

Grow your talents when healthcare demands more of physicians than ever before.

The NMA Physician Leadership Academy is an industry relevant, peer-based leadership development program made possible by a generous grant from the Physicians Foundation in association with the Nebraska Medical Foundation. Designed and led by Pam Hernandez, a successful business executive and renowned business coach, The Physician’s Leadership Academy is a unique opportunity to gain actionable insight on your strengths and challenges.

“Healthcare is becoming increasingly complex, with changes happening at an exponential rate. In order for healthcare organizations to survive and for healthcare providers to thrive, we need strong physician leaders at all levels of our organizations. Yes - we also need exceptionally skilled and dedicated business, finance, IT and other leaders, but ultimately it is the patient-centered clinical perspective physician leaders provide that will guide organizations of all sizes and structures through the ever-evolving environment. Strong physicians leaders are best positioned to direct decisions to make their organizations ideal places to both deliver and receive healthcare.

Unfortunately, the skills that make us good clinicians often make us poor leaders - quickly narrowing a conversation down to a limited differential diagnosis and then single-handedly prescribing a solution. I don't remember spending any time in medical school or residency learning medical leadership basics, such as communication and meeting facilitation skills, teamwork and team leadership skills, understanding financial reports, stress management and burnout prevention skills. 

Since residency, I have attended many leadership classes and programs and read many articles and books that aimed to teach me and other physicians how to lead - how to look like a leader, talk like a leader, and run a meeting like a leader. But the Physician Leadership Academy sponsored by the Nebraska Medical Association is one of the very few opportunities I have had to help me become a leader. Through this adventure I learned so much about myself - my strengths, my tendencies, my worries, my fears, my misperceptions, and how I am seen by those I work with. Armed with that understanding and through the blessing of working with Pam and my fellow course participants over many months, I have been able to become more of the person those in my stewardship deserve as their leader. Like all true adventures, it has not been easy, but it has definitely been worth it. 

Now more than ever, we need more and more physicians who not only act like leaders, but who truly are leaders. Our organizations need it. Our healthcare teams, our patients, and our communities deserve nothing less.
Michael Schooff, MD, FAAFP

Primary Care Medical Director 

It’s a big ask to always be at your best in a leadership role—especially in a world where constant change and increasing complexity are the new normal. Being a physician leader can be a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity, but it can also come with a deep sense of loneliness and isolation and a confusion about who you can trust to talk through your hopes, your fears, your inner doubt.

“Great opportunity to develop and foster leadership skills by realizing your strengths and weaknesses to benefit your practice and patients.  I didn’t realize that by not addressing my daily angst I was in turn condoning their existence. This has lead to a healthier more efficient work environment!  Camaraderie of like-minded physicians helped me realize common  issues with unique answers aided by Pam and my cohorts.”
Edward Discoe, MD

Tailored to the needs and culture of physicians and the medical world, the Physician’s Leadership Academy includes monthly peer-to-peer sessions, one-on-one coaching sessions, know yourself assessment surveys, and thoughtful reading selections.

Click here to read additional testimonies

The NMA 2021-2022 Physician Leadership Academy is already underway. Please check back in the Spring of 2022 to apply for the next cohort.
2021-2022 YEAR

Current NMA Member

LOCATION: First and last session will take place at the NMA office located at 1045 Lincoln Mall, Suite 200, Lincoln, Nebraska.
All other sessions will be conducted virtually via Zoom.
DATES & SCHEDULE: July/August Leadership Academy participants selected and notified.
  September Evaluators chosen / LCP profiles launched.

9 Monthly Workshops

Held 8:00am – 12:00 pm on the following dates:

October: 10/22/2021 introductory workshop at NMA office
November: 11/19/2021 virtual
December: 12/17/2021 virtual
January: 1/21/2022 virtual
February 2/18/2022 virtual
March: 3/18/2022 virtual
April: 4/15/2022 virtual
May: 5/20/2022 virtual
June: 6/17/2022 closing workshop at NMA office


Key aspects of the program include:

Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)

Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)
Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)

The Physician Leadership Academy begins with the 360 Leadership Circle Profile assessment. It measures key leadership competencies and identifies tendencies that limit effectiveness (with input from supervisors, colleagues and others).



Each physician will develop an improvement goal that they’ve had difficulty achieving in the past. Using the Immunity to Change (ITC) methodology developed by Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey, each physician will work with Pam Hernandez to complete their own personal immunity map and to attain deeply sought changes by bringing internal unconscious resistance to light.

Monthly workshop Sessions

Monthly workshop Sessions
Monthly workshop Sessions

You will meet monthly with like-minded physician peers to learn, share and grow. Physicians report that these monthly sessions with colleagues who “get it” is one of the most valuable aspects of the program.

Monthly One-on-One Coaching

Monthly One-on-One Coaching
Monthly One-on-One Coaching

The benefits you gain in monthly sessions are enhanced by one-by-one coaching sessions (each month in person, by phone, or video).

Your individual coaching sessions will provide you:

· The capacity to come up with more insightful, more innovative options for your organization

· Greater clarity and understanding about your values and visions – in your work and in your personal life

· Insights into what makes you stressed, why it makes you stressed, and what to do about it

· More nuanced ways of working with and leading people

Assessments and Readings

Assessments and Readings
Assessments and Readings

In addition to the Leadership Circle Profile 360 assessment, you will also complete the Emergenetics Profile, the VIA Survey of Character Strengths, and the Change Style Inventory all designed to provide you with insights into your leadership. You will read Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps and Compassionomics.



You will become more agile, better at keeping up with a growing and changing world – rather than becoming entrenched in your old, familiar patterns of decision-making. This agility will facilitate your growth along with the ability to scale your leadership to build capacity in the rest of your organization. You will see yourself and others from new perspectives, question deeply held ideas that may be limiting your growth, and to access more of your hidden self. The more possibilities you can see, the stronger a leader you’ll be.

The Talent Behind the NMA Physician Leadership Academy

Pam Hernandez, Founder & CEO, The Right Reflection®

Pam’s 30 year career in the financial services industry culminated in her role as Chief Operating Officer. Her business experience included marketing, human resources, IT, operations and strategy. Pam began The Right Reflection after receiving a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on bringing about transformational change with organizations and individuals. Pam is certified in a number of psychological and leadership assessment tools and programs, as well as being a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through International Coaching Federation. The Right Reflection is an NMA member benefit which provides individual leadership coaching tailored to the needs of healthcare professionals and brought to you by the experts from the Physicians Leadership Academy. Find out more on our Member Benefits page.

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