In two words: Peer Groups! Peer groups are evidence-based change modalities. When we are facing the need to change, whether it be something personal like exercise or weight, or something professional like a leadership challenge, change involves personal dedication but is more successful with support from knowledgeable peers. Learning, exploring, creating, and being held accountable with the help of a small group of your peers is key to ASCENT. Many groups use this model: MasterMind groups, Weight Watchers®, Alcoholics Anonymous®, parenting groups, church connection groups, physicians in the doctor’s lounge, and fellow physicians in your residency program have often served as a peer group!

ASCENT combines didactic education with learning and growing with your peers. You’ll learn some of the same leadership and value-based care content as other leadership programs, but with an expanded scope and chance to really incorporate these principles into your practice. There will be a regular review of YOUR practice-specific metrics, personal and professional goal setting, and frank discussion amongst your peer group about how you have been able to integrate your plans into practice.

The goal of this series is to help you become more comfortable navigating the rapidly-changing healthcare world as a physician leader, no matter what your setting. You will develop your unique strengths as a leader and identify areas for growth by individual as well as practice assessments. You will learn how to lead through the current culture of change and to better understand and succeed in today’s business of medicine. You will be provided the time, tools and trusted environment to help you change and grow.

One of the exciting components of Ascent Physician Leadership is its core of a small group, facilitated journey through personal as well as professional topics. Often, we leave our latest CME activity excited to incorporate new learnings into our lives at work and at home. Unfortunately, we often fail because we lose our focus without having outside accountability for change. Your peers from organizations of similar size and background, with the help of a trained group facilitator, will help you develop a plan and address barriers to change. On-going, monthly, facilitated small group calls will provide continued accountability, growth, and development.

Ascent Physician Leadership is designed to engage emerging and existing physician leaders in peer groups to learn, share and build relationships with other physician leaders. ASCENT is designed for physicians who are decision-makers, who implement and manage change within their organization, practice or department. Most likely, that is you! Clinic managers, medical directors, directors of quality and safety, department chairs, physicians in leadership roles in organized medicine, medical directors of accountable care organizations are all encouraged and welcomed.

Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association (IPMA) is developing ASCENT. You may never have heard of IPMA, but we’ve been around for over 100 years doing great things! Some of our founders and supporters include a veritable “who’s who” of Medicine: the Mayo brothers, Alton Ochsner, and Richard Roberts. Since our inception in 1916, Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association has developed clinical and quality improvement activities for physicians and other healthcare professionals seeking to advance lifelong learning to improve patient’s health and the value of healthcare. We are a physician-led 501(c)(3) organization with a rich history of excellence in providing relevant and practical education. We provide CME credits for our programs, offer Part 4 Maintenance of Certification credit, and are certified to provide American College of Heathcare Executives credit.

Physician peers will receive a minimum of 45 CME credits for ASCENT participation, and also have an opportunity to receive additional CME and MOC Part IV credit from most ABMS member boards through an integrated quality improvement initiative.

Ascent CME Information

Ascent Physician Leadership is an investment in you and your organization. ASCENT fees are based on a one-year commitment with live and virtual meetings and monthly coaching check-in calls. Fees include individual and practice assessments, keynotes, education sessions, CME, MOC-4 quality improvement initiatives, peer group participation, facilitated discussion and support, practice resources, team training sessions and more.

You will actively participate in Ascent over a one year time frame. Each live meeting will require you to be present all day Friday and until mid-afternoon on Saturday. This time is necessary to build an engaged peer group to share ideas and is designed to be educational, efficient, fun and reflective. Your group will need and want you to be fully present and participating in all activities and all meetings. Virtual meetings and monthly coaching calls will be one to two hours in length. 

Preparing for ASCENT meetings will require some pre-work. You will be asked to complete a practice scorecard to share in a confidential manner in your peer group; gathering some of this information may be a challenge! Readings, assessments, and other assignments may occur between phone calls and meetings. Committing to full completion of these activities will enhance the collaborative experience and help you on your leadership journey.

We hope you find ASCENT so engaging and essential that you continue to journey with us year after year!

Each peer group will be led by a trained physician facilitator, with an emphasis on goal setting and positive, yet firm, group-enforced expectations. The facilitator will be with you at each live meeting and will also coordinate, with IPMA staff, the monthly telephone check-in/group meeting.

We’d love to tell you more about ASCENT, our peer group collaborative physician leadership program! For additional information contact us at

Ascent Physician Leadership