The Physician on a Board of Directors: Bane or Benefit?

Malke Borow, Baruch Levi, Benny Avissar, Leah Wapner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the accelerated development of innovative domains such as artificial intelligence, big data, and personalized healthcare, the continuing growth of health-tech and bio-tech industries is to be expected. Concurrently, the question of the extent and nature of physicians’ involvement in these rapidly evolving industries arises, especially in management and leadership capacities such as directors or chief executive officers of such companies. Against this backdrop, the Israeli Medical Association recently launched a first-of-its-kind course designed to train senior physicians as directors in health-tech companies by providing them with vast relevant financial, legislative, and professional proficiencies. Due to their medical knowledge and clinical experience, physicians bring a substantial added value to these industries. However, considering the inherent tensions and potential conflicts between adhering to the logic of a profit-making, competitive market on one hand and maintaining the doctor’s oath on the other, it is inevitable that dilemmas and difficulties will emerge. Much has been written about the roles and responsibilities of boards of directors, but to date, little has focused on the unique position of physicians who serve in these roles. This article aims to examine the ways in which conflicts or dualities of interest manifest themselves for physicians who assume roles as directors and whether effective remedial strategies are available, based on the authors’ own experience in the initiation of the IMA physician-directors course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Healthcare Leadership
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Biotechnology
  • Directors
  • Health technology
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Medical ethics
  • Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Leadership and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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