PHAR 3207/5207: Leadership in Healthcare

Course Details


  • Online course
  • 3 credits
  • Offered in Fall 

This course is open to any student with an interest in the subject.

Course Materials
Textbook: Barr, J., & Dowding, L. (2008). Leadership in health care. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd. ISBN: 9781412930185

Course Director
Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D.

Course Description

Positive change in this world requires leadership. Even though the term “leadership” is freely tossed around by people and organizations, few of us possess a solid understanding of our own unique leadership perspective and potential. This course provides an interactive, student-centered platform to develop students’ personal leadership skills, knowledge, and practices, while applying leadership theories to create the groundwork for positive change in health care settings.

The course is made up of three (3) modules: the individual perspective, the team perspective, and the organizational perspective. Module 1 explores students’ individual leadership perspective. Content will involve personal experiences, a variety of applied leadership theories, and an understanding of the differences between leadership and management. Module 2 provides leadership skills: effective communication, conflict management, quality improvement, and building teams. Module 3 delves further into the organizational perspective in health care, including policy and health care outcomes, quality assurance, accountable organizations, and change management in health care organizations.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop and articulate their personal philosophy of leadership
  • Examine leadership theories and analyze their effects as it applies to health care
  • Investigate theories of organizational health care leadership, including power, conflict management, complex systems and structure
  • Integrate the characteristics of ethics on leadership behavior and its effect on the motivation of followers
  • Develop strategies for effective communication, conflict, and negotiation in multiple organizational situations
  • Apply skills of leadership to their own clinical practice – and more broadly to their professional practice – to serve as effective health care leaders, which includes effective communication
  • Identify their own areas of passion and interest in serving as current and future change agents in health care
  • Identify areas in the health care profession in need of leadership, including challenges and opportunities and propose how these can be addressed in the future

Phar 5207 students will also be able to:

  • Examine, compare and contrast leadership theories, power and politics and apply the theories to health care leadership situations


  • Personal experiences
  • Applied leadership theories
  • Differences between leadership and management
  • Effective communication
  • Conflict management
  • Quality improvement
  • Building teams
  • Policy and health care outcomes
  • Quality assurance
  • Accountable organizations
  • Change management in health care organizations