Beyond the Dual Degree: Development of a Five-Year Program in Leadership for Medical Undergraduates


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Abstract

The current state of physician leadership education consists mainly of executive degree programs designed for midcareer physicians. In 2004, the authors proposed that, by educating medical students in physician leadership and integrating this with a business management or public health degree program, graduates, health care organizations, and communities would benefit sooner. Given the lack of program models to guide program integration and development, the authors began a one-year inquiry to build a model leadership curriculum and integrate leadership education across degree programs.The qualitative inquiry resulted in several linked tasks. First, the authors identified a feasible method for concurrently delivering all three program components (MD degree, Leadership Curriculum, and MBA or MPH degree) during a five-year plan. Second, the authors chose a competency-based educational framework for leadership and then identified, adapted, and validated existing leadership competencies to their context. Third, the authors performed an extensive program alignment to identify existing overlaps and opportunities for integration within and across program components. Fourth, the authors performed a needs analysis to identify educational gaps, subsequently leading to redesigning two courses and to designing three new courses. A description of the Leadership Curriculum is also provided.This inquiry has led to the development of the Boonshoft Physician Leadership Development Program, which provides physician leadership education integrated with medical education and education in business management or public heath. Future program initiatives include developing leadership student assessment tools and testing the link between program activities and short- and long-term outcome measures of program success.

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