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GMS J Med Educ. 2017 Aug 15;34(3):Doc34. doi: 10.3205/zma001111. eCollection 2017.

On the road to becoming a responsible leader: A simulation-based training approach for final year medical students.

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Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, former: LMU Center for Leadership and People Management, A47 Consulting Munich, Munich, Germany.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich,LMU Center for Leadership and People Management, Munich, Germany.
Klinikum der LMU München, Institut für Didaktik und Ausbildungsforschung in der Medizin, München, Germany.


in English, German

Background and objective: There is a need for young physicians to take a responsible role in clinical teams, comparable to a leadership role. However, today's medical curricula barely consider the development of leadership competencies. Acquisition of leadership skills are currently a by-product of medical education, even though it seems to be a competency relevant for physicians' success. Therefore, an innovative leadership training program for young physicians was developed and validated. Training conceptualisation were based upon findings of critical incidents interviews (N=19) with relevant personnel (e.g. experienced doctors/nurses, residents) and upon evidence-based leadership contents focusing on ethical leadership behaviors. Method: The training consists of four sessions (3-4 hours each) and provided evidence-based lectures of leadership theory and effective leader behaviors, interactive training elements and a simulation-based approach with professional role players focusing on interprofessional collaboration with care staff. Training evaluation was assessed twice after completion of the program (N=37). Assessments included items from validated and approved evaluation instruments regarding diverse learning outcomes (satisfaction/reaction, learning, self-efficacy, and application/transfer) and transfer indicators. Furthermore, training success predictors were assessed based on stepwise regression analysis. In addition, long-term trainings effects and behavioral changes were analysed. Results: Various learning outcomes are achieved (self-reported training satisfaction, usefulness of the content and learning effects) and results show substantial transfer effects of the training contents and a strengthened awareness for the leadership role (e.g. self-confidence, ideas dealing with work-related problems in a role as responsible physician). We identified competence of trainer, training of applied tools, awareness of job expectations, and the opportunity to learn from experiences of other participants as predictors of training success. Additionally, we found long-term training effects and participants reported an increase in specific competencies, relevant for effective interprofessional collaboration (active perspective-taking, communication, conflict management, personal competencies). Conclusion: The training of leadership competencies for young physicians seems feasible to develop constructive influence strategies for a successful interprofessional collaboration in early career stages. The simulation-based approach is beneficial for residents to practice leadership behaviour in realistic job situations.


Clinical Leadership; Leadership; Medical Education; simulation-based training

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