About Dr.Chandra Bondugula


Physicians- An opportunity to Enhance Healthcare Administration Skills through American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Engagement

“The American College of Healthcare Executives is the professional society for healthcare leaders committed to improving health”. 

Healthcare is transforming like never before. As a result, more physicians enter the C-suite as strategic decision-makers and senior management leaders. Physicians are inherent leaders who make daily decisions for their patients, but they also have a higher responsibility to manage healthcare delivery and business. 

Many physicians are seeking positions as medical directors, Chief quality and safety officers, hospitalist directors, Chief medical information officers (CMIO), chief medical officers (CMO), or chief clinical officers (CCO). In addition, many physicians have recently been moving into CEO roles, and most university hospitals have physicians at the helm of the hospital systems. 

Covid has taught us significant lessons and showed us our inefficiencies, and physicians, along with all the healthcare leaders, played a substantial role in pivoting to the new care pathways. However, the health system still has gaps where physicians are only partially active in administrative decisions. Physicians must fill in a missing piece in making executive decisions to improve quality and efficiency. 

The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) has been advancing leaders and healthcare leadership excellence for over 85 years. With over 48,000 healthcare professionals, ACHE is committed to improving health for patients and communities. They believe delivering quality patient care is possible only when all the healthcare leaders work together with the best practices. 

There are many advantages for the physicians to join ACHE and ACHE local chapters. I have been an ACHE member for five years and have served on the board of ACHE AL for three years. I was the director of the physician integration committee and am currently the region-level director. 

Volunteer Leaders: Many volunteer leaders on the committee are very active in the chapter activities. In addition, there will be representation from hospitals, physician offices, surgery centers, imaging centers, nursing homes, rehab centers, and many healthcare entities. 

Members can be CEO, COO, CNO, CFO, CQO, professors from healthcare management and nursing schools, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, ancillary services managers and directors, analysts, department directors, case managers, respiratory therapists, leaders from human resources, nutrition and dietetics, supply chain, revenue cycle, health information, student representatives and all other stakeholders. 

It is a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who volunteer their time to discuss healthcare challenges and their solutions as a chapter.  

Board Meetings: We have a monthly board meeting to discuss members’ engagement and challenges that need state members’ attention. We also educate the state healthcare leaders on value-based care, medical economics, leadership, cybersecurity, health IT, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), quality and safety, workforce development, etc. The chapter board is also a place where everyone will express their views freely, and physicians can learn different perspectives from the stakeholders, which is highly valuable. 

Better Networks: You can network with members from different organizations across the state and nation. We discuss the region-wise activities, health administration student activities, national ACHE activities, and how the local chapter engages with national ACHE. The chapter also helps with education and encourages members to get Board certification in healthcare administration to receive FACHE credentials.

As a member of the ACHE AL Board, I had the opportunity to do webinars for the healthcare community. As a result, we have done two webinars and a podcast on price transparency in healthcare.

Webinar on CMS Hospital Price Transparency with Dr. Herman Williams and Caitlyn Penington.


I had the great opportunity to serve under ACHE AL’s three outstanding board presidents and highly engaging and knowledgeable co-board leaders. 

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has developed a fellowship in Healthcare Administration Leadership and Management Sponsoring Institution Fellowship from July 1, 2023, to encourage physicians to seek administrative experience. This fellowship program is an excellent opportunity for any resident seeking a leadership position from their early career. I have written a newsletter on the HALM program highlighting the advantages of the fellowship program. 

I have also been educating residents about the importance of the HALM fellowship program. As the Designated Institutional Official (DIO) and Graduate Medical Education (GME) administrator of the North Alabama Medical Center (NAMC) Program, I gave a didactic on “Physicians- the Future Healthcare Executives.” 

DIO Lecture series- Didactic on Physicians, the Future Healthcare Executives to NAMC IM Residents.

On joining ACHE, the faculty associates can enjoy numerous benefits: 

  • ACHE serves as the connector of people and ideas to transform care. With ACHE, physician leaders join the strong community of 48 000 leaders nationally and locally through chapters dedicated to different chapters. 
  • Members can access exclusive career resources such as ACHE’s online Job Center
  • Members get access to ACHE’s continuing education programs at reduced fees. 
  • Access to exclusive, members-only content, such as the CareerEDGE® career planning and management tool
  • Access to a member-only service and online education website. 
  • Access to tailored resources and tools. 
  • Access to scholarships to help Future Leaders receive the education they need. 

The value of ACHE for physician executives by Dr. Jon Burroughs, MD., FACHE can be heard in the following link:

There are plenty of healthcare leadership opportunities for medical graduates who have yet to make it into graduate medical education. Being part of ACHE is also an excellent opportunity for medical students, graduates, residents, and fellows to join ACHE, build careers, and network with healthcare leaders. 

Healthcare leadership is a big responsibility. ACHE is building awareness about the broader perspective of healthcare administration and leadership. As a result, physicians can learn how to lead a healthcare organization with a more comprehensive view of executive responsibilities. 

As a physician and healthcare executive, I strongly encourage all medical students, graduates, residents, fellows, faculty, and practicing physicians to join ACHE and ACHE local chapters. The membership and engagement with chapters will enhance administrative skills to become the future healthcare administrators and change makers for the US healthcare system. In addition, the ACHE organization is a great medium to interact with all health system stakeholders and keep updated with the policies and latest trends in healthcare administration.

You can visit https://www.ache.org/membership/physician-leader to learn more about the resources and how to become a member.


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