LEADing the way in Pediatric Residency Training

by Admin 9. October 2014 03:00

LEAD, or "Leadership Executive Academic Development," is one of the prominent and unique aspects of our residency.  In a nut-shell, it is a two week long, intensive program that focuses on vital skills necessary for future physicians that are not traditionally taught during residency.  Specifically, we had full day sessions on leadership, individualized medicine, cultural competence, ethics, quality improvement, patient safety, and the business of medicine.  Leaders in these respective fields from Johns Hopkins, All Children's, and across the nation came together to teach, guide, and help us grow as well-rounded leaders in medicine.

The actual sessions ranged from lectures and discussions to simulations and team building activities.  For instance, during our cultural competency days we received lectures highlighting healthcare disparities, difficulties in communication, and specific tools to improve communication utilizing interpreters.  The day ended with role-playing a variety of scenarios involving interpreters and came full circle at the end-of-the week simulation session during which we counseled a Spanish speaking parent via an interpreter on the appropriate use of an insulin regimen.  Other memorable sessions included being blindfolded for a team and communication building exercise, learning our own personality styles and how to work effectively with individuals of other styles, and a mock pharmacy production line that was significantly improved utilizing the Lean Six Sigma approach.  The facilitators of the sessions were often national leaders and experts, including an eye-opening business of medicine talk led by the CFO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mr. Rich Grossi. 

Similar to other programs, our residency class is tight-knit group of friends who not only support each other professionally, but also enjoy spending time together outside the hospital.  We quickly realized that the free weekend in-between our two weeks of LEAD was a rare opportunity of universal freedom not to be wasted.  Thus, in great Florida style, we rented a pontoon boat and spent a memorable Saturday afternoon cruising up the intracoastal to a deserted island.  We often comment how amazed we are that such a diverse group of young doctors, who took the leap of faith as the inaugural class of this program, have come together as such a cohesive and driven group.  It is the fierce determination to succeed and accomplish, to challenge and question, and to solve and improve that binds us together and underlies the driving theme of LEAD. 

As William Osler said, "We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life."  LEAD begins to fill a critical gap in residency training to prepare physicians for the uncertain and dynamic future of medicine. 

Paul Gilbert, MD PGY-1

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