An innovative residency program designed to develop leaders to improve the health of children.
Physician-leaders are needed to address the widening gap in health disparities in an increasingly complex health care system. To be effective leaders, physicians need specific training; yet despite its importance, leadership training is rarely addressed during graduate medical education. As a result, most physician leadership training occurs after residency training. To address this gap in medical education, in 2004 the authors developed the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program at the University of California, San Francisco. The PLUS program incorporates leadership development into the framework of standard clinical training by providing specific sessions in personal leadership development and in related skills such as team building, negotiation, and conflict management. Leadership training is explicitly tied to clinical experiences to maximize relevance and opportunities for "real-time" application of new skills and knowledge. In addition, the curriculum includes sessions to develop and implement a three-year longitudinal child health project. Trainees are organized into advising groups to provide structured faculty and peer-peer advising. Key lessons learned in the implementation include the importance of having a skill-based, rather than a topic-based curriculum, and of exposing trainees to concrete examples of the many career paths of physician-leaders. Early outcomes from 2004 to 2009 include program evaluation data, trainee accomplishments, and postgraduate careers. This paper aims to inform other training programs about the development and feasibility of a residency program that incorporates leadership and underserved medicine curricula into the framework of standard clinical training.
Kuo, AK; Thyne, SM; Chen, HC; West, DC; Kamei, RK
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