RLI On Demand

April 2020: Crisis Leadership

Radiologist sitting at computer

Faculty: Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, FACR

Frank Lexa, MD, MBA, FACR, shares how great leadership is the secret to meeting challenges and crises in 2020 and beyond. Lexa explores the importance of leadership and team management skills in managing crises — and strategies to build effective team relationships with administration and physicians in other disciplines.

Key Takeaways

  • Manage yourself and maintain your focus on both the crisis as well as the bigger picture.
  • Build a good team with the right people and then optimize what they do.
  • Lead by example—be a role model for the group/institution in domains such as safety, quality, and operational excellence.
  • Develop and evaluate Projects: understand what needs to be done, prioritize tasks, and identify resource limitations (people, equipment, money, etc.).
  • Lead change using five phases of crisis leadership: purpose, thinking, learning, engagement, and feedback
  • Challenges are not merely obstacles – they are opportunities as well – even in the chaos
  • Crises are opportunities to examine yourself and your institution – use them to make things better and be ready for the next challenge

Recorded Webinar

Faculty Bios


Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, FACRis the author of the book: “Leadership Lessons for Success in Health Care” which takes a systematic approach to developing medical leadership skills. He is an academic neuroradiologist and is currently a Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh where he also does global radiology work for UPMC International. Previously, he served as a Professor, the Associate Chief and the Vice Chair of Strategy and Leadership in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Arizona. He began his career in France with a visiting position at the Université de Bordeaux, and has been a Clinical Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Professor of Radiology at the Drexel University College of Medicine where he was also the Vice Chair.

He has been honored with several major scientific research awards including the Cornelius G. Dyke Memorial award of the American Society of Neuroradiology. He also works outside of academic medicine and was a member of the adjunct faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the marketing department for seventeen years where he taught both graduate and executive MBA students in the Global Consulting Practicum. That took him to five continents. In the GCP, he served in multiple leadership roles including: the Spain, United Arab Emirates, and Israel Country Manager positions as well as the East Asia Regional manager for mainland China and Taiwan.

For several years he also held an appointment as a Professor of Business Development in the Life Sciences at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, at the time the top business school in Europe. There he twice won the prestigious “Prize of Excellence” for outstanding teaching.

He served as an ASNR ambassador in Lviv, Ukraine in 2017 and has also done international medical and education work on several continents including volunteer work in Uganda, Thailand, China and Russia. He has plans to serve again in Africa and Asia in the next two years.

Dr. Lexa lectures, consults and writes extensively on issues at the interface of health care and business. He has authored over 130 peer reviewed articles as well as multiple articles in the general medical press and in alternative media as well as multiple book and encyclopedia chapters. He has given over 2,000 academic, invited, educational, business and Grand Rounds lectures as well as chairing and directing numerous educational meetings for academic, professional and business organizations.

He has chaired, co-chaired and served on several key national committees and task forces for major organizations in US radiology. Currently, he serves on the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Radiology where he is the Chair of the Commission on Leadership and Practice Development as well as the Chief Medical Officer of the Radiology Leadership Institute and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee. He is also the current chair of the ACR International Economics Committee and a member of the ACR International Commission. In the past, he also served for six years as a founding co-chair of the Future Trends Committee for the ACR.

Previously he directed health care investments for the British Technology Group International and worked as a strategic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in their healthcare practice. He is the founder and CEO of a boutique health care strategy group: LSG Ventures. He was also a partner at Philadelphia Ventures-a venture capital firm focusing on high tech medical and information technology early stage investments and he continues to work with start up companies in the healthcare sector.

He was educated and did his medical training in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Philadelphia. He is a licensed airplane pilot and an avid skier and SCUBA diver. He has raised money for several charities in multiple ways including a 100 mile ride for MS research. In his spare time, he bikes, and chases after his two Portuguese water dogs, Rocky and Gabby and his pot belly pig, Pyper.

Additional References

  • Frank J. Lexa “Leadership Lessons for Health Care Providers” Academic Press, 2018.
  • Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp “Getting It Done, How to Lead When You’re not in Charge” HarperCollins, 1998.