Harvard Macy Community Blog

Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

#HMIchat August 2019: Developing Leaders: Busting Myths and Lifelong Learning

Despite numerous calls for an increase in physician leaders and leadership development in medical education, a 2018 systematic review found significant gaps exist in (1) understanding the best ways to teach leadership, (2) assessing and understanding the value of leadership training, and (3) overall reporting of curricula design. Participants in the August #HMIchat explored myths of leadership and leadership development, shared crucial advice, passed on resources, and discussed innovative ways to teach and develop leadership skills both in and beyond medical education. The chat was rich with ideas and resources to help us become better leaders.

 Here is a recap of some of the common themes and ideas shared by our community.

What are some common myths about leadership?

  • Leaders cannot show vulnerability; they must have all the answers… be the smartest in the room (@joshuadhartzell)
  • Everyone has the same access to leadership opportunities. Reality: There remains incredible bias and sponsorship is one way to work to create equity in leadership (@SusanHingle)
  • You have to be an extrovert to be a leader (@KFabsMD)
  • Leaders can only lead after they have “done their time” (@DrJRMarcelin)

As we discussed these myths, @Javeedsukhera remarked how “many myths related to leadership perpetuate gender and racial biases...make us question our leadership skills and competencies because we don’t ‘look’ like leaders.” In busting these myths, the #HMIchat turned to the critical value of personal mentors, coaches and sponsors in developing leaders, especially for women and minorities.

What are some common myths about teaching leadership:  

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Education as a Catalyst for Health Care Transformation

Improving community and population health is in the core mission statement of many medical schools. However, physician training happens within the same system that has led the United States to disproportionately spend on its healthcare system. While wealthy countries like the U.S., tend to spend more per person on health care and related expenses than lower income countries. However, the U.S. spends more per person on health than comparable countries. Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,224 in 2017, which was 28% higher than Switzerland, the next highest per capita spender.  The all-encompassing social determinants of health, politics, and vested financial interests heavily influence policies affecting population health. It would be useful for us to take a moment reflect upon the problem.

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Interprofessional Education: Who is buzzing at your planning table?

For the past two years, I have been deeply involved in interprofessional education and collaboration efforts at Cleveland Clinic. As an instructional designer by training, I strive to engage all stakeholders any time I am designing educational programming. This is particularly important when your audiences are from a number of professions, with a wide range of expertise level and diverse views on the need for learning.

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October #MedEdPearls: Resources to ease MCQ test writing anxiety

School is back in full swing, and it is a good time for refreshing multiple-choice question (MCQ) exams. Download the following one-page guide for 5 basic steps of item writing.

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Removing the Sage from the Stage: Blending Case- and Problem- Based Learning in Graduate Biomedical Research Education

Though those trained in business, law, and medicine are no strangers to active learning techniques in the classroom, scholars in graduate biomedical research programs are still frequently taught using passive lecture-based techniques. This is challenging for many pre-doctoral and master’s level students, who will spend the bulk of their training years conducting inquiry-based research. They are inherently curious and learn best through hands-on techniques. I say this as an individual for whom a single case-based course during my graduate biomedical research training not only vastly improved my educational experience as a student, but also dramatically changed my views on what biomedical research education was and could be.

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