Leadership Roles of a Physician Liaison

Oct 14, 2019 | Physician Liaison Marketing

Main Leadership Roles of a Physician Relations Manager

“The difference between ordinary & extraordinary is that little extra.” – Jimmy Johnson

One of my favorite parts about working as a physician liaison is the ability to take leadership of your program.

Physician Liaisons face many challenges and overcome different hurdles, some in the field and some internally.

But, one of the most rewarding feelings as a physician liaison is knowing that your initiative and leadership has not only helped your physicians but helped patients as well!

Not all careers provide the opportunity to become a leader…

But physician liaisons do have the opportunity to have a career where they can be leaders.

So, I put together 5 ways physician liaisons are leaders for their program, their physicians, their patients, and their team.

5 Ways Physician Liaisons Are Leaders:

  • Lead the program
  • Lead relationship development
  • Lead marketing initiatives
  • Lead team members
  • Lead the narrative

The Leader of The Physician Relations Program

A physician liaison is a role unlike any other out there in the healthcare marketing world.

Though there are similarities between other healthcare marketing and sales professionals, there are BIG differences.

What is a Physician Liaison?

A physician liaison is representative of a hospital, medical practice, and physicians assigned to build and engage referral relationships with local physicians.

Well, that’s the long and short of it.

Physician liaisons spend the majority of their time on the job out in the field of marketing and connecting with referring physicians and practices.

This means that physician liaisons do not have that traditional workspace environment.

I mean our office is our car, am I right?

A physician liaison is often spending their workday on their own without other team members to help them navigate the day-to-day.

With the responsibility to manage the physician relations independently, it opens the doors to the building and implementing a physician relations program all their own.

A physician liaison will lead the way in collecting and interpreting the data to develop strategic benchmarks, targets, and goals.

A physician liaison will lead the program by developing a strategic marketing plan based on the gathered data, collected information, and time with physicians.

By developing their growth strategy and integrating data and analytics to track and measure efforts, physician liaisons have the freedom to lead their path of success.

The Leader in Physician Relationship Development

Physician liaisons will engage and interact with anywhere from 50 to 200 medical practices a month.

That is ALOT of physician relationship interaction and ALOT of different personalities with ALOT of varying relationship histories.

Physician liaisons have to manage the many varying physician referral relationships and make each experience valuable and unique to the referring physician.

A physician liaison is a leader in navigating and establishing these physician referral relationships.  They will organize, track, and have prepared the information and materials for each meeting.

That is pretty amazing…

The Leader In Medical Marketing Initiatives

Physician liaisons have a unique insight into the patient experience and the physician referral process.

Physician liaisons dedicate their training and time to genuinely understanding the patient referral process and the patient experience.

This in-depth knowledge and first-hand accounts from a physician liaison give them the needed information to help attract new patients with other marketing initiatives.

A physician is a leader in developing relevant content that is pertinent to the patient’s journey.

Physician liaisons may lead the marketing by working with a healthcare marketing agency, managing social media, and coordinating events.

A Leader For The Team

As I mentioned before, physician liaisons do not have that traditional workspace environment.

That means physician liaisons need to be excellent communicators.

Not only do physician liaisons communicate with referring physicians, but they have to communicate with their staff, team, and physicians.

Physician liaisons are the bridge of communication between referring doctors and the specialists they represent. The relationship is built by the liaison’s ability to communicate value in their message and connect the physicians.

Physician liaisons also lead communication with their staff and team, and on top of all that, they communicate mainly remotely.

Physician liaisons lead their team in the patient experience and what is needed to be done on the referral process while managing different team members and aligning responsibilities.

A Leader in Narrative

Physician liaisons are trained to enhance both the referring physician and patient experience.

Physician liaisons take the data, analytics, meetings, and medical practice information to create an engaging message that will both create value and drive patients.

Physician liaisons lead the way in opening the conversations and uncovering the trigger and pain points that must be discussed in the marketing and how to deliver that message to physicians and patients.

Physician liaisons lead communication for their physicians by learning useful ways to connect and get them involved in the program. They bring forward new information, feedback, and insights that only their experience interacting in the field can provide.

Physician Liaisons lead the narrative and open the conversation even if it means to bring forward information that can be negative or is in conflict with standard theory or process.

It’s not always easy when the information being presented isn’t popular, but it can be what is best for the team.

That is a BIG responsibility, and one physician liaisons face often.

There are so many rewarding aspects of being a physician liaison but getting to assume that leadership position may be the most rewarding.

Wrapping Up: Leadership Tips for Physician Liaisons

If you are starting or an experienced physician liaison, there is a huge opportunity for leadership growth in your role.

A physician liaison can have pride and excitement of having the freedom to build a physician relations program. As the leader of the physician liaison marketing program, you know that it can have tremendous growth; all you have to do is put in the work and take charge!

Make it your own and make a difference! 



Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.

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