"We have continually seen more and more physicians seek those degrees in all of our surveys," Esselman says. "For physicians, especially the younger generation of physicians who are just getting started in their leadership career, this is very important. It will be a good return on investment."
In the coming decade Esselman says he expects that physician-executive compensation will steadily increase even amid the uncertainty of healthcare reform as the payment models shift away from volume and toward quality, safety and patient satisfaction.
"The satisfaction is not only for the patients but the caregivers, nurses, physicians, etc. That is going to be the focus going forward," he says. "We will certainly see more at-risk compensation, how an organization does in those areas. Not that the financial performance isn't going to be important, but many health leaders feel that if they have good quality, great safety and excellent service, meaning patient satisfaction, the patients and the finances will follow."