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Will I Learn to Lead?
Supervising as a Senior Resident
Elizabeth Terragnoli and Alicia Zysman-Cromwell
Supervising as a senior resident is a critical skill to honing leadership skills. In the third year, residents spend two months supervising a team of junior residents and medical students. Residents ensure the highest standards of clinical quality, while attending to the learning needs of those being supervised. One must balance making sure all the wart work gets done with making sure there is time for learning as well. Being an effective supervising resident entails not only clinical knowledge, but an awareness of interpersonal interactions, educational needs, and perhaps most importantly, self-awareness. Our overall curriculum gives trainees all of these skills, and the chance to practice them.
During the 4-month psychosocial medicine rotation in the second year, residents' leadership skills are nurtured and developed through a series of leadership seminars taught by the leaders of our department. Sessions include: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Physicians,” “Leading Change,” "Conflict Resolution,” “Emotional Intelligence,” “Your Family of Origin and its Impact on your Leadership Style.”
Teams are more than a group of people working in the same space. What defines a team? Residents are fully integrated into team meetings, with the expectation that all residents rotate through the leadership of team meetings. Residents learn how to address staff concerns, manage interpersonal conflict, create a sense of team, plan out a “PDSA” cycle (Plan-Do-Study-Act, an Institute of Healthcare Improvement model for improving clinical performance). We firmly believe that your experience at team meetings will prepare you well for your future practice, and enable you to lead a team towards improved clinical care.