Louisville Medicine Volume 69, Issue 9 - Page 6



This month we had the second part of our four-part webinar series on physician wellness . This month ’ s webinar featured Dr . Tom Hustead from the Referent Group . Dr . Hustead , a graduate of West Point , spent 24 years in the U . S . Army , in combat medical roles as well as caring for soldiers and dependents . He ran a family medicine residency as department chair , and helped recruit students and prospective doctors to join him in serving our country .

Over the last years of his career , he was astonished and burdened with the number of physician colleagues he saw burning out , including those who even left the practice of medicine . He decided to start his own company to help physicians learn leadership skills to promote the well-being of themselves and their health care teams . The Referent Group has done leadership programs for some of our local hospital systems as well as others around the country . The groups that have gone through their group leadership course have given the Referent Group and the course high praise for the enduring leadership skills and work they brought to their teams . Dr . Hustead intimately understands the importance of seeing health care as a community .
Who better to lead the health care community than physicians ? Learning to lead requires vulnerability , humility and openness . We must soften before we can become malleable enough to bend and change . We can learn some leadership skills from watching others , but active participation in a leadership role is the essence of developing yourself as a leader . We have certainly done this in our medical school and residency training . Now , as health care has evolved into more of a team-based approach , we must learn and develop our skills to lead not only ourselves , but a broader , more complex health care team .
Developing these skills takes intentionality and participating in programs like the Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute ( KPLI ), a program provided through the Kentucky Medical Association , and Leadership Louisville . The importance of physician leadership is also reflected by the fact that the major hospital systems are developing and implementing internal physician leadership development programs . The Greater Louisville Medical Society is no exception .
GLMS has offered leadership development courses over the years and is a strong proponent of supporting other leadership programs . KPLI is now a premiere leadership program for physicians across the commonwealth and has been very successful in helping develop our physician leaders . GLMS supports up to three GLMS physician leaders per year to participate in KPLI and also encourages its presidents to participate in Leadership Louisville , which is a city-wide leadership program recognized as the gold standard across the country for this type of leadership program . As the GLMS President , I have participated in and greatly benefited from both excellent leadership programs .
A timely example of my personal and professional leadership growth includes recognizing and addressing implicit bias . In the July 2021 edition of Louisville Medicine , I acknowledged my implicit bias . It is a subject that is ongoing and prevalent in our society .
The National Institutes of Health article , Implicit bias in healthcare professionals : a systematic review , states that “ Implicit biases involve associations outside conscious awareness that lead to a negative evaluation of a person on the basis of irrelevant characteristics such as race or gender . This review examines the evidence that health care professionals display implicit biases towards patients .” 1