Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Nancy Reid, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C


Introduction: Graduate medical education (GME) programs continue to evolve to meet the demands of complex, changing healthcare systems. Despite present attempts to develop clinical leaders, many medical organizations have identified the need for overall improvement of leadership education and allocation of resources towards team and personnel development.1 The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) readily recognizes that patient outcomes are positively affected when leadership-based training is incorporated into clinical decision-making practice.1 Programs combining mentorship and coaching exercises into health systems strengthening (HSS) strategies have also been found to directly enhance quality of patient care.2 Current methods of teaching leadership in GME programs traditionally include lectures, small group activities and case-based review.1 Based on this, some have suggested that additional role mapping exercises and open discussions should be incorporated, to help recognize areas of overlap and gaps in leadership training.3

Methods: This study aimed to assess current recommendations put forth by the ACGME to formalize a structured leadership curriculum within the University of Utah School of Medicine Pediatric Fellow School by involving enrolled first-year physician fellows in an academic leadership session. Fellows participated in exercises including traditional lecture-based learning and case-based small group discussions. Pre- and post-survey analyses were collected for each exercise and used to measure physician appreciation for leadership studies and perception of current personal leadership skills to ascertain whether a particular teaching method is perceived to be more effective in developing clinical leadership skills.

Results: While the authors were unable to validate statistically significant data to support this area of study, qualitative analysis indicates that physicians enrolled in a pediatric fellowship program recognize and embrace the implications of imparting clinical leadership skills within structured medical curriculum. Case-based learning modalities were preferred over that of lecture-based presentation of materials.

Discussion: Further work examining current didactic programs with integration of learned leadership methodologies should be explored to help strengthen healthcare systems and improve patient care.


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