Program for Chairs of Clinical Services

  • On-Site
  • January 22, 2023February 3, 2023
  • $9,800

Harvard Longwood Campus, Boston, MA

The program far exceeded my expectations because of the depth and breadth of the topics. Would recommend this program to novice and experienced Chairs alike. There is something substantive for every level.
  • —Kathleen Pajer, MD, MPH
  • Professor and Chair of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa

Program Overview

Chairs of major clinical departments traditionally have faced complex responsibilities because of their multiple tasks – patient care, teaching, research, and administration.

As academic health centers experience unprecedented disruption and change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, chairs are being asked to become more extensively involved in institutional decision making with regard to programs, staffing, operating and capital budgets, and other issues. These responsibilities are in addition to their traditional concerns within their own departments. At the same time, chairs have to consider to a greater degree the relationship between institutional priorities, departmental decisions, and collaboration with other services. These new tasks call for new leadership and managerial skills.

The Program for Chairs of Clinical Services (PCCS) brings together chairs of major clinical departments in teaching hospitals and health systems and an experienced interdisciplinary faculty for two weeks of intensive and systematic study of some of the critical leadership and management issues facing chairs, their departments, and teaching hospitals.


The curriculum of the program is organized around the following interrelated courses taught by a faculty experienced in executive education for physicians and other key decision-makers in the health system:

  • Competitive Strategy
  • Health Policy
  • Financial Analysis and Control
  • Innovative Problem Solving
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Issues
  • Leadership Challenges

A carefully integrated curriculum permits participants to examine fundamental managerial issues from the perspective of several disciplines. A new program initiative or downsizing proposal, for example, may raise managerial problems concerning departmental and institutional strategy; the application and utility of systems analysis and quantitative analytical methods; basic economic trends and legal constraints; financial analysis and control; and organizational behavior, design, and development.

The overriding purpose for learning concepts, techniques, and skills in any of the management disciplines in this program is to understand their managerial use and limitations. For example, the course in financial analysis and control does not aim to develop expert accountants or to provide accounting skills, per se. The purpose in learning to analyze the cost and financial implications of program decisions, for instance, is: (a) to better understand the fundamental methodological issues involved, the driving factors behind any particular analysis, the limits of such analysis, and the need to blend this with clinical, strategic, and other non-financial judgements; and (b) to improve the ability of a participant both to manage staff and to interact more effectively with the fiscal affairs personnel in their hospital, health system, or medical school.

Teaching Method

The principal method of instruction in the program is the case method, a technique pioneered and refined at Harvard Business School. Most of the cases present actual problem situations familiar to chairs of clinical departments. Special case materials based on field studies of specific issues faced by service chairs have been and continue to be prepared by the faculty.

The case method confronts the participant with an actual management problem, halted at a point where decisions must be made, and forces the participant to choose a course of action. Participants go through a three-step study process. First, participants study each case independently. Participants then meet in small discussion groups to test their individual analyses against those of their peers. Finally, the entire class discusses the case, with the professor as catalyst and guide. The professor points out considerations the class has overlooked; elicits from participants the lessons of experience; pursues each line of investigation to its conclusion; and finally, summarizes the discussion and draws out the major lessons it has taught.

Assigned readings and guest lecturers supplement and augment the use of cases. In addition, an important part of the learning process occurs during the informal exchange of insights and experience among participants and faculty.

Program organization

Classes and discussion groups are scheduled six days a week. Preparation for classes averages six hours a day. Registration is scheduled for 3:00 – 4:00 pm on the first day of the program. The following Sunday is free except for cases to be prepared for Monday’s classes. Participants are required to free themselves of professional and family responsibilities for the period of the program so that full attention can be devoted to the educational experience.

Program Objectives

The program’s overall objective is to enhance and develop participants’ leadership abilities and effectiveness. This is accomplished by providing broader understanding of their responsibilities as leaders; perspective on some of the critical leadership and management issues they face; and understanding and awareness of concepts and techniques relevant to management.

Upon Completion of the Program, Participants Will Have Gained:

  • Increased understanding of their responsibilities and tasks as leaders of clinical departments and members of the leadership group of their institution
  • A broader appreciation of and insight into the external challenges facing, and changes occurring in, academic medical centers; the range of options and responses available; and the implications for their own institution, clinical service, and academic program
  • New perspectives on issues they face currently and on those which arise in the future
  • Knowledge of relevant concepts and techniques in several key management disciplines
  • New methods to analyze problems and an enhanced capacity to identify the critical questions
  • Greater effectiveness as departmental and institutional leaders in formulating and implementing new initiatives and managing change

Credits and Logistics


January 2023

$0/night + tax

Program Location

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
FXB Building
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The program takes place at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, located in the heart of the Harvard Longwood Campus in Boston. Public transportation is also readily available to the city’s many shopping districts, museums, and restaurants.

For directions, please click here.

Continuing Education Credit

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health designates this live activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will grant Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this program. Specific credit counts will be published when available; please check back for updated information.

All credits subject to final agenda.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion of the program.


Current faculty, subject to change.

Jeffrey Levin-Scherz, MD, MBA, FACP

Program Director

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard. T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Assistant Professor
Harvard Medical School


January 22, 2023 – February 3, 2023

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This agenda is subject to change. All times listed are in Eastern Time (ET).

Sunday, January 22, 2023
3:00–4:00 pm Final Registration
4:00–5:15 pm Opening Meeting
5:15–6:30 pm Cocktail Reception
6:30–7:30 pm Dinner
7:30–8:00 pm Meeting with Discussion Group Leaders
8:00–8:00 pm Study Time
Monday, January 23, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:45 am Introduction to Strategy
10:45–11:15 am Break
11:15 am–12:30 pm Introduction to Financial Analysis & Control
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:30 pm Full Cost Accounting
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am Strategy Formulation
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00–12:30 am Managing Change & Transition
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:30 pm Innovative Problem Solving
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am Strategy Planning-Organizational Level
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm Differential Cost Accounting
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:00 pm Management Control Structure
Thursday, January 26, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Group
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:45 am Strength Deployment Inventory
10:45–11:15 am Refreshment Break
11:15 am–12:15 pm Strength Deployment Inventory
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch
1:15–2:45 pm Strategic Planning
1:15–2:30 pm Strategic Planning - Departmental Level
Friday, January 27, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am Strategy Planning-Organizational Level
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm Operations Management
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:00 pm Understanding Policy Change & Affordable Care Act
6:00–7:00 pm Cocktail Reception at The Colonnade Hotel
7:00–7:15 pm Travel to MFA
7:15–9:00 pm Dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts
9:00–10:00 pm Optional MFA Tour
Saturday, January 28, 2023
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:15–10:30 am What is Leadership?
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:15 pm Through the Looking Glass
Monday, January 30, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00 am–12:00 pm You're It! Meta-Leadership
12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–2:15 pm Plan Provider Negotiation
2:15–3:30 pm Management Control Structure & Process
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–11:00 am Subarctic
11:00–11:30 am Refreshment Break
11:30 am–12:30 pm Subarctic
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:00 pm MD Comp
1:30–2:45 pm Disruptive Innovation
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am TBD - Operations Management
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm Difficult Feedback
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:00 pm Difficult Feedback (cont.)
Thursday, February 2, 2023
8:15–8:30 am Coffee Break
8:30–9:30 am TBD - DEI
9:30–10:00 am Coffee Break
10:00–11:30 am Transition from Physician to Leader
11:00 am–12:30 pm TBD Dickson
11:00 am–12:30 pm Journey from Physician to Leader
11:30 am–1:00 pm TBD
1:00–2:00 pm Lunch
2:00–3:30 pm Integrating the Management Control Structure & Process
6:15–7:00 pm Travel to Harvard Faculty Club
7:00–9:15 pm Reception and Dinner Harvard Faculty Club
Friday, February 3, 2023
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:15 am Understanding Policy & Desegregation of U.S. Hospitals in 1966
10:15–10:45 am Break
10:45 am–12:15 pm Disruptive Innovation
12:15–1:00 pm Bringing the Learning Home

Who Should Apply

The program is designed for chairs of major clinical departments in teaching hospitals whose responsibilities require them to allocate resources, develop policies, make difficult decisions in times of great uncertainty, and provide leadership. Potential participants report directly to the CEO/Dean and include heads of major departments of medicine, surgery, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, neurology, anesthesiology, pathology, and radiology. Participants will be selected with a view to ensuring an appropriate mix and balance in the class.

Application and Admission

Early application is encouraged. Qualified candidates are admitted on a rolling, space-available basis, and programs often fill early. We will continue to accept applications until the program reaches capacity. No payment is due at the time of application. Applicants who are admitted to the program are required to pay the program fee to reserve their place.

Please note: Because this is a full-time, residential program and because of the cumulative and interactive nature of the educational experience, applicants who are accepted must plan and agree to attend and participate in all sessions of the program.

How to Apply

For your convenience, you may review the list of application questions for the program. We advise applicants to prepare their answers in a word document and then cut and paste them into the online application in order to avoid losing their work in the unlikely event of technical difficulty. Once your answers have been prepared and you are ready to continue with the application process please click the “apply now” button. Thank you for your cooperation, we look forward to reviewing your application.