Program for Chairs of Clinical Services

  • On-Site
  • January 23, 2022February 4, 2022
  • $9,500

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 opening Sunday of the program. The following Sunday is free except for cases to be prepared for Monday’s classes. The program concludes on the second Friday at 2:00 pm. 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 2022

The Colonnade Hotel
120 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
TEL: (617) 424-7000 FAX: (617) 424-0968
$195/night + 14.95% tax

Immersed in Boston’s main shopping district of Copley Square and Newbury Street, this hotel is perfect for those wanting to be closer to the excitement of the city. The Colonnade is approximately 1.5 miles from the program location. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health can be accessed best by public transportation on either the Train (Green line, E, Outbound to Brigham Circle), or by Bus (39 towards Forest Hills).
For the Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers and Program for Chairs of Clinical Services courses, the Center for Executive and Continuing Professional Education will book accommodation for accepted participants. Accommodation is not included in the program fee.

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 23, 2022 – February 4, 2022

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

Sunday, January 23, 2022
3:00–4:00 pm Final Registration
4:00–5:15 pm Opening Meeting
5:15–6:00 pm Cocktail Reception
6:30–7:30 pm Dinner
7:30–7:30 pm Study Time
Monday, January 24, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–9:30 am Introduction to Week One & Technology Orientation
9:30–10:45 am What is Leadership?
10:45–11:15 am Refreshment Break
11:15 am–12:30 pm What is Strategy?
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–2:45 pm Introduction to Financial Analysis and Control
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:15–10:30 am Operations Analysis
9:15–10:45 am Through the Looking Glass
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:15 am–12:30 pm Strategy Formulation
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch
1:15–2:45 pm Understanding Policy and Desegregation of US Hospitals in 1966
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:15–11:15 am Innovative Problem Solving
11:15–11:45 am Refreshment Break
11:45 am–1:00 pm Strategy Implementation Case
11:45 am–1:00 pm Strategic Planning - Organizational Level
1:00–2:00 pm Lunch
2:00–3:15 pm Full Cost Accounting Case
Thursday, January 27, 2022
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Group
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:45 am Leading Teams & Group Decision Making: The Value of Leaders
10:45–11:15 am Refreshment Break
11:15 am–12:15 pm The Value of Leaders (cont.)
12:15–1:15 pm Lunch
1:15–2:45 pm Through the Looking Glass
1:15–2:30 pm Strategic Planning - Departmental Level
Friday, January 28, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:15–10:30 am Differential Cost Accounting
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm Understanding Policy Change and the Affordable Care Act
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–2:45 pm TBD Peck
1:30–2:45 pm Executing a Quality Strategy
2:45–3:00 pm Week Two Orientation
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
Saturday, January 29, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:15–10:30 am TBD Peck
9:15–10:30 am Fostering Innovation in your Health System
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:15 pm Management Control Structure
12:15–12:30 pm Bagged Lunch
Monday, January 31, 2022
8:15–8:45 am Open Discussion
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00 am–1:15 pm You're It! Meta-Leadership for Leaders in Academic Health Centers
1:15–2:15 pm Lunch
2:15–3:30 pm Management Control Structure and Process
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–11:00 am Leading Teams & Group Decision Making: The Value of Teams
11:00–11:30 am Refreshment Break
11:30 am–12:30 pm The Value of Teams (cont.)
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–2:45 pm Managing Productivity Improvement
1:30–2:45 pm Disruptive Innovation
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:15–8:45 am Open Discussion
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am Understanding Medicare Payment Reform
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm Difficult Feedback: A Crucial Skill for Professional Development
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–3:00 pm Difficult Feedback: A Crucial Skill for Professional Development (cont.)
Thursday, February 3, 2022
8:15–9:00 am Discussion Groups
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am Managing Change and Transition
9:00–9:15 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:30 am TBD Pascal
10:30–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:30 pm TBD Dickson
11:00 am–12:30 pm Journey from Physician to Leader
12:30–1:30 pm Lunch
1:30–2:45 pm Integrating the Management Control Structure and Process
6:15–7:00 pm Travel to Harvard Faculty Club
7:00–9:15 pm Reception and Dinner Harvard Faculty Club
Friday, February 4, 2022
8:15–8:45 am Discussion Groups
8:15–8:30 am Coffee Break
8:30–10:00 am Leading Well
8:45–9:00 am Coffee Break
9:00–10:15 am TBD Finlay
10:00–10:30 am Refreshment Break
10:30–11:30 am What's In Your Leadership Toolbox
11:30 am–12:15 pm Bringing the Learning Home
12:15–12:15 pm Program Conclusion & Bagged Lunch

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. The priority deadline is August 1, 2021, but we 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.