Keywords: Medical leadership, leadership training, medical education, leadership training framework
COVID-19 challenged healthcare systems worldwide, emphasizing the need for adaptable medical leaders. Limited literature is available regarding medical leadership training programs, and especially regarding frameworks for such programs. Our objective is to present a framework for medical leadership training, derived from the analysis of a pilot program for the training of medical leaders. This framework can be applied to train medical leaders in various healthcare environments.
A one-year long medical leadership training program was conducted that focused on experiential learning and was designed to empower young family physicians (FPs). Twelve FPs with 1-5 years of medical experience began the program; ten of the twelve completed it. In addition, the FPs’ mentors and other physicians in management positions also participated in the research.
Data was collected throughout the program through interviews, discussions, questionnaires, observations, and trainee reflections. This data was analyzed qualitatively, allowing us to develop a framework for medical leadership training.
Based on the trainees' experiences, medical leadership core competencies were identified. Our results reveal unique themes from the medical and treatment professions including among others compassion, safe patient care, mindful care, patient-centered care, patient autonomy, and harm avoidance. These values were categorized as "Healing". In addition, universal values emerged, such as integrity, social justice, self-awareness, empathy, communication, non-violence, and more, which are represented by the concept of "Humanity".
The proposed preliminary theoretical framework, entitled "H-MERge", amalgamates the three meta-competencies, Management, Education, and Research, with an added-value dimension represented by the letter H, which stands for three terms: Humanity, Healing, and Health.
Our research is unique in that it focuses on integrating values within the context of professional meta-competencies. The H-MERge framework focuses on universal values and concepts and so it can be utilized as the foundation for creating new programs aimed at educating medical leaders in various healthcare settings.
Points for discussion:
Have you come across leadership training in other family medicine departments or settings?
Could you share the core principles of medical leadership training?
Are you familiar with any training frameworks, and do you see a need for them?