A key role of clinicians is to motivate their patients to initiate and maintain beneficial health behaviors. This article
integrates research on transformational leadership, clinician–patient communication, and health behavior to introduce a novel
approach to understanding and improving clinicians’ effectiveness as motivators. We describe three dominant clinician styles
or patterned approaches to patient care that derive from leadership theory (in order of least to most effective): laissez-faire,
transactional, and transformational. Additionally, we suggest potential mediators and effects of the transformational style
of care. Finally, we discuss future research directions for the study of clinician styles of care.