Clinical Changemakers
Clinical Changemakers
Ep3: Leadership by Design at the Mayo Clinic | Dr. Stephen Swensen

Ep3: Leadership by Design at the Mayo Clinic | Dr. Stephen Swensen


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“Culture is absolutely the mortar between the bricks and the primary value of Mayo Clinic that everyone knows. From the environmental services folks to the accountants, to the nurses and doctors and social workers, the needs of the patient come first.”

— Dr. Stephen Swensen, Former Director for Leadership and Organization Development at Mayo Clinic.

Listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

In this episode, Dr. Stephen Swensen previously of the Mayo Clinic, explores leadership at this prestigious healthcare institution. He outlines how being a physician-led organisation allows them to fulfil their mission of patient excellence. This includes discussing their deliberate structure, ethos, and culture. Dr. Swensen explores the importance of an egalitarian approach to valuing staff, key activities to enhance staff engagement and ways to enhance professional satisfaction.

Follow Dr. Stephen Swensen: LinkedIn

About our guest: Dr Stephen Swensen has served patients for 35 years at the Mayo Clinic.  At Mayo, he was also the Director for Leadership and Organization Development and Chief Quality Officer. He is a Full Professor and was Principal Investigator of two National Institutes of Health grants and has authored three books and 207 articles. He was honoured with the Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award, served as the president of two international societies and founded the Big Sky Group. He holds a Master of Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Swensen is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where his focus is the creation of Joy in Work.

Resources mentioned in the podcast

Music attribution: AudioCoffee from Pixabay.

Contact information: If you’d like to get in touch, reach out at

Clinical Changemakers
Clinical Changemakers
Clinicians have trained in the art and science of medicine, and yet feel powerless to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare system.
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