Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to introduce the newly established College to the physician executive community in Australia and New Zealand.

Over the past 20 years, I have been most fortunate to travel the world, meet many talented colleagues, and witness first-hand the enormous challenges and opportunities facing healthcare in the 21st century. I have been impressed by the contribution of visionary medical leaders who have stepped into the physician executive role, embraced the challenges and made good the opportunities – to the benefit of their communities, their enterprise and their personal ambitions.

I have been encouraged by their journeys, inspired by their success and motivated by their words of wisdom and support to pursue the formation of a College which will signal the beginning of a new specialism within the medical community. One that I believe will grow to become one of the most influential enablers of healthcare innovation in our time. I am very excited about the potential for the ACPE to harness the collective contribution of the physician executive community to the benefit of our members, our community and our enterprise.

For many, the concept of a physician executive may be quite unfamiliar, or perhaps even ambiguous. In the popular vernacular, physician executives are medically qualified professionals who pursue non-clinical careers in public, private, government or not-for-profit enterprise. Physician executives combine their medical training with commercial acumen in accordance with the objectives of their particular interest – whether political, financial, academic, scientific, humanitarian or similar. The grouping is better defined by its commonality of interest and aptitude, than by title or outcome. They are found in many sectors of the economy, including the pharmaceutical industry, banks, insurance houses, private capital, legal firms, hospitals, politics and entrepreneurial ventures – to name a few.

It is a role that bridges the traditional separation between healthcare and commerce, providing vision and understanding of how the two may compliment one another. The proliferation of physician executive roles is testimony to the increasing overlap between business and medicine, and signals a new era of medical specialism for these multi-talented individuals.

I look forward to seeing the College establish and grow, and offer an open invitation that you will join us in this endeavor. Each member will bring with him or her a unique set of skills, experience and knowledge without which the College cannot reach its full potential.

Deon Gouws

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