Image: Copyright M.Succi
Key study points:
- Annual one-day seminar improves residents’ perceptions of their abilities to carry out managerial skills
Primer: Management skills and training has been addressed in a very limited fashion throughout the United States during surgical residency programs. As we attempt to better integrate services across the health care spectrum and demand more of our physicians through new models of care, like accountable care organizations, the potential benefits of having strong management skills grows. ACGME duty-hour restrictions has made this possibility even more difficult though still critical as we continue to send surgery residents to open up practices and work in complicated health care delivery systems.
- Sherrill WW. Dual-degree MD-MBA students: a look at the future of medical leadership. Acad Med. 2000;75(10)(suppl):S37-S39.
- Dimick et al. Developing Leaders in SurgeryComment on “Training Future Surgeons for Management Roles”, Arch Surg. 2012;147(10):944-945. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2012.1278.
This [prospective] study: 43 residents across all surgical subspecialties at McGill University in Montreal, Cananda were invited to a one day seminar, “The Resident Surgeon Manager Conference.” They were all given surveys before and after the one-day seminar, which covered topics such as giving feedback, managing time, hedging risk, managing finances, etc. Surveys were rated on a 5 point scale from “not addressed at all” to “very well addressed.” The preconference surveys showed that 63% of residents thought that they were only exposed to management skills “from time to time,” whereas after the seminar 79% thought they were either “well addressed” or “very well addressed.” Statistically significant changes were noted by residents in their ability to give feedback, delegate duties, and cope with stress, among others (p < .05). In addition, there was a significant improvement of the residents’ perception of negotiating employment, manage their finances, hedging malpractice risk, and manage a private practice.
In sum: This study showed that even a one day per year training seminar can have a positive impact on a resident’s perception of his or her ability to carry out managerial tasks, including negotiating payments, delegating duties, managing finances, etc. The authors acknowledge that one day is only the beginning and is probably not enough to have a significant impact in the managerial skills that residents will need to employ when running their own practices, but is a start in that direction and begins to address that unmet need. A limitation of this study is that it focuses on only on residents at McGill University in Montreal. Therefore, it is not necessarily representative of all of the residents throughout the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, given the different structures of the health care delivery systems, it is unclear whether the management skills most critical to successfully running a surgery practice within the United States are the same as those in Canada. Nonetheless, that goal is something we must strive for so that residents are not only clinically prepared, but also managerially prepared before graduating from their respective programs.
By [DM] and [AH]
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