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A study was undertaken to develop understanding of hospital chief executive officers' (CEOs') perspectives concerning importance and impact of professional development activities in US hospitals. It was also intended to reveal CEO preferences for various modalities of professional development including membership in professional societies, attainment of credentials, and coaching by mentors. A mail survey of 582 hospital CEOs made use of a pilot-tested questionnaire with 30 close ended multipart questions. Results showed that most CEOs assigned a high level of importance to professional development and favored conferences, seminars, and networking opportunities, but low priority assigned to online activities such as webinars. They reported lending support to senior managers for participation in these activities by providing financial resources and by allowing time off to engage in these activities. The respondents indicated that the importance of various modalities of professional development has either increased or remained high over the recent 5 years. Conclusions suggest that verifiable quantitative data are needed for understanding of the frequency of participation and resource commitment of health care organizations toward the professional development of CEOs and senior managers. The results of this perceptual study reveal a high level of importance accorded to various forms of professional development activities by the participating CEOs.
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