Participatory design, a method by which system users and stakeholders meaningfully contribute to the development of a new process or technology, has great potential to revolutionize healthcare technology, yet has seen limited adoption. We conducted a design session with eleven physicians working to create a novel clinical information tool utilizing participatory design methods. During the two-hour session, the physicians quickly engaged in the process and generated a large quantity of information, informing the design of a future tool. By utilizing facilitators experienced in design methodology, with detailed domain expertise, and well integrated into the healthcare organization, the participatory design session engaged a group of users who are often disenfranchised with existing processes as well as health information technology in general. We provide insight into why participatory design works with clinicians and provide guiding principles for how to implement these methods in healthcare organizations interested in advancing health information technology.