An Innovative Residency Program Designed to Develop Leaders to Improve the Health of Children

Kuo, Anda K. MD; Thyne, Shannon M. MD; Chen, H. Carrie MD, MSEd; West, Daniel C. MD; Kamei, Robert K. MD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181eb60f6
Leadership
Abstract

Physician–leaders are needed to address the widening gap in health disparities in an increasingly complex health care system. To be effective leaders, physicians need specific training; yet despite its importance, leadership training is rarely addressed during graduate medical education. As a result, most physician leadership training occurs after residency training. To address this gap in medical education, in 2004 the authors developed the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program at the University of California, San Francisco. The PLUS program incorporates leadership development into the framework of standard clinical training by providing specific sessions in personal leadership development and in related skills such as team building, negotiation, and conflict management. Leadership training is explicitly tied to clinical experiences to maximize relevance and opportunities for “real-time” application of new skills and knowledge. In addition, the curriculum includes sessions to develop and implement a three-year longitudinal child health project. Trainees are organized into advising groups to provide structured faculty and peer–peer advising. Key lessons learned in the implementation include the importance of having a skill-based, rather than a topic-based curriculum, and of exposing trainees to concrete examples of the many career paths of physician–leaders. Early outcomes from 2004 to 2009 include program evaluation data, trainee accomplishments, and postgraduate careers. This paper aims to inform other training programs about the development and feasibility of a residency program that incorporates leadership and underserved medicine curricula into the framework of standard clinical training.

Author Information

Dr. Kuo is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and director, Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program, San Francisco, California.

Dr. Thyne is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and medical director, Children Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California.

Dr. Chen is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Dr. West is professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and director, University of California, San Francisco Pediatric Residency Program, San Francisco, California.

Dr. Kamei is vice dean of education, Duke–National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore, professor, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and former director, University of California, San Francisco Pediatric Residency Program, San Francisco, California.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Kuo, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Avenue, MS6E, San Francisco, CA 94110; telephone: (415) 206-3090; fax: (415) 206-3686; e-mail: akuo@sfgh.ucsf.edu.

First published online August 10, 2010

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges