top of page

Good Leaders Do Both- Accomplish the Mission and Take Care of Your People

     The realm of military medicine is high stakes, where the balance between mission success and the well-being of personnel is not just an ideal but a critical imperative. In the inaugural episode of WarDocs’ Ten Good Minutes on Leadership, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Sean Murphy, MD, dives deep into this intricate world with MG(R) Jeff Clark, MD, who brings an astonishing 35 years of service in military healthcare leadership and clinical excellence.

     This Ten Good Minutes of Leadership episode is a compelling narrative that highlights the often-overlooked intricacies of leading in a combat healthcare environment. Dr. Clark's extensive experience, which includes roles such as Deputy Commander for Army MEDCOM and Director of Healthcare Operations at the Defense Health Agency, positions him as an authority on the subject. His leadership strategies are an amalgamation of wisdom gained under the influence of prominent figures like LTG(R) Mike Steele. They are encapsulated in what he describes as 'graduate-level' leadership.

    Dr. Clark shares a powerful philosophy that resonates throughout the episode: the notion that the mission's success and the prosperity of the team are not mutually exclusive but are instead deeply intertwined. His recollections from his time with the 21st Combat Support Hospital underscore this principle. There, nurturing the team was elevated to the status of a mission-essential task, and this approach was solidified with the creation of a 'prosperity plan' encompassing personal, professional, spiritual, and familial domains.

    The discussion navigates through various challenges faced by leaders in military medicine, including the mental fatigue that accompanies complex missions such as detainee healthcare and the cultural assimilation necessary when different branches of the armed forces come together. Dr. Clark's insights on these issues are not just theoretical; they are practical reflections on real-life situations where he had to exercise patience, empathy, and strategic thinking.

     Moreover, the episode touches upon the significance of mentorship and continuous learning in shaping effective leaders. Dr. Clark's recommendations of books like "Defeat Into Victory" by Viscount Slim and Harold Kushner's "How Good Do We Have To Be" offer listeners a window into the intellectual foundation that supports his leadership ethos.

     This installment of WarDocs is more than a conversation; it's a treasure trove of leadership wisdom for those in military medicine and beyond. It encapsulates the ethos of what it means to lead with honor, integrity, and a relentless commitment to both mission and people. Dr. Jeff Clark's reflections serve as a powerful reminder that the art of leadership, particularly in the theater of combat healthcare, is an ongoing pursuit of excellence that requires a delicate balance between achieving operational goals and fostering team prosperity. It's a lesson in the profound impact a leader's decisions can have on the mission's outcome and the lives of those who serve under them.


The 10 Good Minutes on Leadership episode featuring Dr. Clark is available on all major podcast platforms.  Here are some popular links that will bring you directly to the episode:

Check out the full episode on our YouTube channel- and learn more about military medicine on our website

Honoring the Legacy and Preserving the History of Military Medicine

The WarDocs Mission is to honor the legacy, preserve the oral history, and showcase career opportunities, unique expeditionary experiences, and achievements of Military Medicine. We foster patriotism and pride in Who we are, What we do, and, most importantly, How we serve Our Patients, the DoD, and Our Nation.

Find out more and join Team WarDocs at

Check our list of previous guest episodes at

Listen to the “What We Are For” Episode 47.

WarDocs- The Military Medicine Podcast is a Non-Profit, Tax-exempt-501(c)(3) veteran-run organization supported by volunteers. All donations are tax-deductible and go to honoring and preserving the history, experiences, successes, and lessons learned in Military Medicine. A tax receipt will be sent to you.

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to Support WarDocs


WARDOCS documents the experiences, contributions, and innovations of all military medicine Services, ranks, and Corps who are affectionately called "Docs" as a sign of respect, trust, and confidence on and off the battlefield, demonstrating dedication to the medical care of fellow comrades in arms.

Follow Us on Social Media

Twitter: @wardocspodcast

Facebook: WarDocs Podcast

Instagram: @wardocspodcast

LinkedIn: WarDocs-The Military Medicine Podcast


WarDocs on YouTube


bottom of page