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Neurosurgery Resident Leadership Development: An Innovative Approach

Pettit, Jeffrey E PhD; Dahdaleh, Nader S MD; Albert, Gregory W MD; Greenlee, Jeremy D MD

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318201c2ac
Special Article

A great deal of time and resources go into the development and training of neurosurgeons. One area that has minimal literature and assessment is leadership development. Under the core competency of interpersonal and communication skills, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has indicated that residents are expected to work effectively as a member or leader of a healthcare team. This article reveals how a structured leadership program was developed so that residents are better prepared for the role of chief resident and future leadership roles. Beginning in October 2006, residents attended a series of 1-hour workshops conducted monthly. Topics included leadership style, conflict management, effective feedback, team building, team leadership, motivation, and moving from peer to leader. A retrospective pretest was conducted at the end of the program. Residents reported a significant knowledge gain for the majority of topics. Resident comments indicated a greater awareness of the impact of leading and ways to improve their personal leadership. Quantitatively and qualitatively, residents and faculty reported that the leadership program made a significant impact on the development of future neurosurgical leaders.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa, Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa

Received, February 17, 2010.

Accepted, June 5, 2010.

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Correspondence: Jeffrey E. Pettit, PhD, 1-204 Medical Education Bldg, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail:

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons