Do physicians need leadership skills to be good doctors?
Doctors increasingly are expected to lead teams growing in complexity. These teams are expanding in numbers and geography, but the skills physicians need to do that are not formally taught, and as a result we often see disastrous outcomes. We know that teamwork and communication failures are one of the major causes of preventable harm per year. We have seen change management programs stall because people do not practice basic management skills. Good management matters, and is absent from many healthcare organizations. We need to make sure that intern medical students are ready when they come onto teams to utilize these skills.
Adding this training for medical students is critical. People think management skills are only needed later in their career, but when we think about frontlines it is often junior people making decisions. Medical students who have just graduated and are starting internships with LeBoHA will be put in charge of small teams of providers and coordinate increasingly complex care. They need to learn leadership skills early in the process instead of playing catch-up.