Louisville Medicine Volume 69, Issue 5 - Page 14

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR LEADERSHIP
( continued from page 11 ) consider as we look to the future of medical education .
Next , it ’ s important to address vagueness surrounding “ teaching leadership skills ” if we hope to move the idea from words on a mission statement to actions in the world . People become great leaders in medicine through diverse avenues so developing a curriculum that can be broadly applicable to whichever direction life may take us is important . Essential topics including creating a collaborative work environment , public speaking , negotiation , design-thinking and team dynamics are broadly applicable to any future and current physician regardless of the chosen career path . Leadership retreats , team-building exercises and lectures dedicated solely to leadership topics are commonplace in fields outside of medicine . I would like to make the case that medical schools and residency programs could also largely benefit from the more frequent grand rounds lectures focused on leadership topics and retreats centered around understanding team dynamics . The argument can also be made that students and residents at every level of training and station need to practice and participate in the strategic planning meetings . As medical trainees , it ’ s important that we get involved with the program goals , making plans to achieve them and identifying metrics by which to hold ourselves accountable .
New skills and curriculum take time , effort and commitment to
learning . Medical trainees at every level often roll their eyes at the thought of adding yet another set of modules to complete on top of an already jam-packed schedule unless we see a clear benefit to our current ( or future !) practice . However , I am reminded of the importance of formal leadership training when I think how often I ’ ve been inspired by the keen observations and innovative ideas that my classmates , residents and attendings have noted in passing , but watch as those ideas fizzle away as if they were unattainable goals . Early exposure to stepping into leadership roles outside of traditional training gives trainees the confidence they need to identify societal and medical pain points and use their interpersonal and management skills towards building a team to solve them and make a difference .
Ultimately , each of us is on our path and we try our hardest to find joy in a meaningful career in medicine . While we may each have a different idea of what exactly it means to be a leader in our field , we know a great leader when we see one . In the medical field , we aren ’ t defined by a singular leader but rather by a collection of us all working together . Leadership training can empower every member of the team to identify issues and pain points in our practice and community , and to use better the resources we have to address them .
Kevin Jacob , BS is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine .

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