Meeting News

Physician leaders ‘set up to fail’ due to lack of formal leadership training

Sunanda V. Kane, MD
Sunanda V. Kane

ORLANDO — A leader in health care today clearly articulates the rationale and goals for change, casts a clear vision for how such change will improve patient and community care and knows how to motivate people to engage in needed change, Sunanda V. Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said during the David Y. Graham Lecture at the World Congress of Gastroenterology at ACG 2017.

“Many leaders across academic medical centers today are ill-prepared to lead as most never receive formal leadership training, but instead have learned to lead by observing role models who were accomplished in their areas of expertise,” Kane said. “They are set up to fail at effective leadership, as medical education typically produces practitioners working alone, while modern management of patients and institutions requires teams.”

In quoting James Stoller, executive director of physician leadership development, and chairman at the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic, Kane said, “In medicine, a good leader should be honest, forward-looking, inspirational and competent.”

“Good leaders should be mindful of others so that they can accurately reduce distortion and more accurately interpret thoughts and perspectives of everyone on the team,” she said. “They should do this while being mindful of his/her own emotional state and need to be emotionally mature — few have done these two things very well.”

The effective, 21st century leader will not only be bright and able to generate ideas for their team, but also able to ‘go three levels down’ and broadly understand what the person at the third level is doing. They should know the barriers faced by the third-level employee and do their best to remove these barriers to achieve organizational progress, Kane said.

It is so important for leadership to be capable to lead now, she said, because physician burnout is so common today and leaders have a key effect on the well-being and professional fulfillment of those they lead.

In a 2014 study published in Annals of Surgery, Shanafelt and colleagues wrote that “leaders should provide tools for self-calibration, resources to promote self-care, training in skills that promote resilience and objective information on how their well-being compares with that of physicians nationally.”

Benchmarking is always something that a physician will respond to and understand when they are being compared to others,” Kane said. “Shanafelt and colleagues found that physicians who take better care of their own health have been found to provide more optimal counseling and screening practices to their patients. Encouraging these health behaviors as a physician has a double benefit — both the patient and physician win.”

Kane said a good leader must assess their leadership skills and continually ask themselves:

  • Am I comfortable attracting attention?
  • Am I able to successfully self-reflect?
  • Do I know who to call for professional counsel?
  • Do I engage others in dialogue and invite their ideas and perspective?
  • Do I articulate a vision that others want to rally around?

“If you do not understand where you are coming from, then you will never understand where others are coming from,” she said. “My own personal formula for success is 70% work experience, 20% feedback and relationships via networking, mentoring and coaching, and 10% formal training.”

Carol A. Burke, MD
Carol A. Burke

Kane offered three final tips on how to be a good leader in medicine.

“One must first own their work experience, ask for feedback and get formal training in the form of public speaking and leadership,” Kane said.

“Susie Kane epitomizes to me a servant leader and a sage in gastroenterology,” Carol A. Burke, MD, FACG, outgoing president of the ACG and a gastroenterologist specializing in hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes at the Cleveland Clinic, said during the lecture. “She has moved our knowledge and the quality of our patient care in patients with IBD, especially for women, fertility, pregnancy and compliance. Susie, as you all know, became the president-elect of ACG at this meeting and in my mind is a scholar, leader and researcher that leaves behind a legacy for numerous trainees. To me, she epitomizes the servant leader.” – by Jennifer Southall

Reference:

Kane SV, et al. David Y. Graham Lecture. Presented at: World Congress of Gastroenterology at American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 13-18, 2017; Orlando, FL.

Shanafelt T, et al. Ann Surg. 2014;259:82-88.

Disclosure: Kane and Burke report no relevant financial disclosures.

 

 

Sunanda V. Kane, MD
Sunanda V. Kane

ORLANDO — A leader in health care today clearly articulates the rationale and goals for change, casts a clear vision for how such change will improve patient and community care and knows how to motivate people to engage in needed change, Sunanda V. Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said during the David Y. Graham Lecture at the World Congress of Gastroenterology at ACG 2017.

“Many leaders across academic medical centers today are ill-prepared to lead as most never receive formal leadership training, but instead have learned to lead by observing role models who were accomplished in their areas of expertise,” Kane said. “They are set up to fail at effective leadership, as medical education typically produces practitioners working alone, while modern management of patients and institutions requires teams.”

In quoting James Stoller, executive director of physician leadership development, and chairman at the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic, Kane said, “In medicine, a good leader should be honest, forward-looking, inspirational and competent.”

“Good leaders should be mindful of others so that they can accurately reduce distortion and more accurately interpret thoughts and perspectives of everyone on the team,” she said. “They should do this while being mindful of his/her own emotional state and need to be emotionally mature — few have done these two things very well.”

The effective, 21st century leader will not only be bright and able to generate ideas for their team, but also able to ‘go three levels down’ and broadly understand what the person at the third level is doing. They should know the barriers faced by the third-level employee and do their best to remove these barriers to achieve organizational progress, Kane said.

It is so important for leadership to be capable to lead now, she said, because physician burnout is so common today and leaders have a key effect on the well-being and professional fulfillment of those they lead.

In a 2014 study published in Annals of Surgery, Shanafelt and colleagues wrote that “leaders should provide tools for self-calibration, resources to promote self-care, training in skills that promote resilience and objective information on how their well-being compares with that of physicians nationally.”

Benchmarking is always something that a physician will respond to and understand when they are being compared to others,” Kane said. “Shanafelt and colleagues found that physicians who take better care of their own health have been found to provide more optimal counseling and screening practices to their patients. Encouraging these health behaviors as a physician has a double benefit — both the patient and physician win.”

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Kane said a good leader must assess their leadership skills and continually ask themselves:

  • Am I comfortable attracting attention?
  • Am I able to successfully self-reflect?
  • Do I know who to call for professional counsel?
  • Do I engage others in dialogue and invite their ideas and perspective?
  • Do I articulate a vision that others want to rally around?

“If you do not understand where you are coming from, then you will never understand where others are coming from,” she said. “My own personal formula for success is 70% work experience, 20% feedback and relationships via networking, mentoring and coaching, and 10% formal training.”

Carol A. Burke, MD
Carol A. Burke

Kane offered three final tips on how to be a good leader in medicine.

“One must first own their work experience, ask for feedback and get formal training in the form of public speaking and leadership,” Kane said.

“Susie Kane epitomizes to me a servant leader and a sage in gastroenterology,” Carol A. Burke, MD, FACG, outgoing president of the ACG and a gastroenterologist specializing in hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes at the Cleveland Clinic, said during the lecture. “She has moved our knowledge and the quality of our patient care in patients with IBD, especially for women, fertility, pregnancy and compliance. Susie, as you all know, became the president-elect of ACG at this meeting and in my mind is a scholar, leader and researcher that leaves behind a legacy for numerous trainees. To me, she epitomizes the servant leader.” – by Jennifer Southall

Reference:

Kane SV, et al. David Y. Graham Lecture. Presented at: World Congress of Gastroenterology at American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 13-18, 2017; Orlando, FL.

Shanafelt T, et al. Ann Surg. 2014;259:82-88.

Disclosure: Kane and Burke report no relevant financial disclosures.

 

 

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