A common culture, guided by a shared vision of the future and behavioral norms, is the key to developing a strong group.


TIP 11 Start by discussing culture.

We find it useful to get physician leaders to envision an elite group, and think about behaviors and expectations that would permeate such a group. This helps define the expectations for being part of the group.


TIP 12 Articulate the value of being in the group.

Being able to explain to a new physician the value of group membership is useful in defining and sustaining the culture. Think of this as the “one minute elevator speech” – the sales pitch that will help attract and retain needed talent.


TIP 13 Work to bring diverse practices into the group.

Unless pushed, individual practices tend to retain their culture. Have a direct discussion with new groups about expectations and encourage them to engage with the leadership of the group. Culture is developed and takes real work.


TIP 14 The Physician Advisory Board should have explicit discussions about culture.

Make it an agenda item. Place it in the context of, “What culture will help us achieve our shared vision? How can we use our culture to differentiate our group?”


TIP 15 Incorporate metrics for shared culture in objectives and management controls.

Metrics about patient access or specialist/hospitalist feedback to PCPs is a great starting point. It will help the group reference desired behavior among physicians.


TIP 16 Focus on new patients.

Onboarding of new physicians is key to long-term success. Be aggressive about explaining expectations and standards before they start seeing patients. Assign each new physician a physician mentor.

Terrence R. McWilliams, MD, FAAFP

Chief Clinical Officer and Managing Director, Employed Provider Networks