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Welcome to The Medicine Mentors interview series. Our mission is to create a platform for top physician mentors to share key insights, traits and best practices based on their experiences to guide medical students and residents.

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May 20, 2024

Charles W. Sorenson, MD, is the President and CEO Emeritus of Intermountain Healthcare and the Founding Director of the Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute. Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 33 hospitals (including virtual hospitals), a Medical Group with more than 3,800 physicians and advanced practice clinicians at about 385 clinics. Prior to that, he served for eleven years as Intermountain’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Currently he serves as an Executive Coach at MEDI, the largest executive coaching firm in the nation dedicated exclusively to the healthcare industry. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of Utah. He has been noted amongst 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

“Be capable, be affable, and be available. You've got to first become a very capable physician, and just going to medical school or even doing residency doesn't do it. So, do your best to become a doctor's doctor.” Dr. Charles Sorenson, the Founding Director of Intermountain Healthcare Leadership Institute, has been at the forefront of medicine’s leadership for decades now. Join us in this episode of The Medicine Mentors as Dr. Charles Sorenson shares his transformation from being a surgeon to becoming an influential healthcare leader, the elements needed for tomorrow’s physician leader, and how to be a force of trust in healthcare.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Try to employ a ‘success without side effects’ mentality, where putting the interests of your patients before your own becomes the point of success and not whatever outcome you expected. 
2. A professional is one who is cognisant of how they affect a team or a patient. The patient’s best interest is also a professional’s best interest. 
3. A leader doesn’t always need a professional title or role. Learn to lead in the role you have now. In other words, learn to harness the referent power you have everyday to influence and change things for the better. Improve upon your character and competence follows. 
4. Leadership means being affable, available, and capable. Being affable means having the humility to recognize your own limitations and knowing when to seek out advice or help. Being available means saying yes to opportunities and being open to risk. Being capable means to not only be a competent physician but learning to be a ‘doctor’s doctor.’