Professionalizing Healthcare Management: A Descriptive Case Study

Document Type : Hypothesis


1 Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

2 Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA


Despite international recognition of the importance of healthcare management in the development of high-performing systems, the path by which countries may develop and sustain a professional healthcare management workforce has not been articulated. Accordingly, we sought to identify a set of common themes in the establishment of a professional workforce of healthcare managers in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings using a descriptive case study approach. We draw on a historical analysis of the development of this profession in the United States and Ethiopia to identify five common themes in the professionalization of healthcare management: (1) a country context in which healthcare management is demanded; (2) a national framework that elevates a professional management role; (3) standards for healthcare management, and a monitoring function to promote adherence to standards; (4) a graduatelevel educational path to ensure a pipeline of well-prepared healthcare managers; and (5) professional associations to sustain and advance the field. These five components can to inform the creation of a long-term national strategy for the development of a professional cadre of heathcare managers in LMIC settings.


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  • Receive Date: 15 December 2016
  • Revise Date: 15 March 2017
  • Accept Date: 18 March 2017
  • First Publish Date: 01 October 2017