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Med Educ Online. 2017;22(1):1301697. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2017.1301697.

The state of leadership education in US medical schools: results of a national survey.

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1
a Population & Public Health Sciences , Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University , Dayton , OH , USA.
2
b Emergency Medicine , Alpert Medical School of Brown University , Providence , RI , USA.
3
c Department of Emergency Medicine , Boston Medical Center , Boston , MA , USA.

Abstract

Over the past two decades, there have been increasing calls for physicians to develop the capabilities to lead health care transformation. Many experts and authors have suggested that leadership education should begin during medical school; however, little information exists regarding the presence or nature of undergraduate medical education leadership curricula in the USA. This study sought to determine the prevalence of formal leadership education in US undergraduate medical schools, as well as the delivery methods and degree of student participation. A web-based survey of medical education deans from US allopathic medical schools (N = 144) was administered from November 2014 to February 2015. The survey included questions on the presence of leadership curricula, delivery format, student participation rates, and forms of recognition. Eighty-eight surveys were completed; the majority (85%) of respondents were associate or assistant deans for medical education. Approximately half (54.5%) of respondents reported leadership curricula within their medical schools. Of those, 34.8% (16/46) were required; 32.6% (15/46) were elective; and 32.6% (15/46) indicated both required and elective components. Of schools with formal leadership curricula ​(n = 48), the common forms of content delivery were: mentoring programs (65.1%); dual degree programs (54.5%); workshops (48.8%); seminar/lecture series (41.9%); courses (41.9%); or single seminars (18.6%). Nineteen percent of institutions offer longitudinal leadership education throughout medical school. Common forms of recognition for leadership education were: course credit (48.8%); dual degrees (37.2%); certificates of completion (18.6%); and transcript notations (7.0%). This study indicates that formal leadership education exists in more than half of US allopathic medical schools, suggesting it is an educational priority. Program format, student participation, delivery methods, and recognition varied considerably. Further study is needed to identify the optimal content, competencies, and pedagogy for leadership education. Identifying best practices may help guide standards for leadership curricula across UME and fill this educational need.​.

KEYWORDS:

UME curriculum; career development; curriculum development; leadership development; medical education; physician leadership; professional development

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