Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Rosemary Link


Servant Leadership is a theory of leadership in which the Servant Leader is motivated primarily by an intuitive desire to serve his/her followers. The leadership aspect is secondary. In this study, the concept of Servant Leadership was applied to the physician-patient relationship in a healthcare setting. The purpose of the research was to determine the satisfaction level of patients with their physicians. Questionnaires were mailed to one hundred randomly selected patients at a large mid-western outpatient clinic. Following are several of the questions included in the questionnaire. On the average, how long do you have to wait to see your physician? What is your level of trust with your physician? How well does your physician respond to your concerns? Does your physician tell you what you need to know? Do you feel that your physician would "go the extra mile" for you? Do you view physicians as leaders in the Clinic? The responses generally indicated high satisfaction with and a high level of trust in the physicians, and an indication that Servant Leadership is being practiced, although the respondents did not use that terminology. However, several respondents indicated that improvement is needed. Continuation of this research is important because physicians need to know what patients expect from them, and how they are performing in their patients' eyes. Physicians are naturally seen as leaders. The decisions they make and how they behave affects their patients, the clinic as an organization, and the community in which the physicians practice. Patient satisfaction is an important tool for measuring quality of healthcare. Research that builds on or adds to previous research benefits patients and physicians alike. The goal of the researcher is to gather and present information that could be used to develop a model of Servant leadership, which could then be used in healthcare settings to enhance patient satisfaction and improve the quality of patient care.


SC 11.MAL.2001.Saunders.CLW