New Residency Program Prepares Physicians for Leadership Roles
Residents in the Medicine Management Leadership Track meet with State Secretary of Health and Human Services JudyAnn Bigby, MD, at the State House.
The Medicine Management Leadership track, a new residency program at BWH, is helping prepare young physicians for careers in hospital leadership and public policy. The three-year program allows participating Internal Medicine residents to combine clinical excellence with advanced management skills.
“Twelve residents have elected to join this track, which offers specialized elective experiences and tethers participants to hospital administrators and other public figures whose goal is to improve the quality of health care,” said Joel T. Katz, MD, director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. “The Brigham is the first hospital I am aware of to have a comprehensive program like this for residents.”
Participants in the Medicine Management Leadership Track’s first class are now in their second year of the program.
“In the first year, the residents had a series of meetings with department, hospital and community leaders,” said Katz. “It was an opportunity for them to get to know senior administrators and what they do, as well as hear about the challenges they face and what lessons they might pass along to physicians who are early on in their careers.”
The second year of the program began with a two-week block in which residents were assigned to shadow
hospital administrators—physician and non-physician—to learn first-hand what drives change in a complex health care environment.
“The shadowing was a great experience. It enabled us to see, from a house staff perspective, all the work that goes on behind the scenes,” said Ami Parekh, MD, JD, one of the residents in the Medicine Management Leadership Track. “And, from a management perspective, it helped us understand how an organization as large as Partners operates.”
The residents also spent a day focusing on how health care and health finance change within government. State Secretary of Health and Human Services JudyAnn Bigby, MD, invited the group to the State House for an overview of how decisions are made at the state level. The residents also met with former BWH resident Sachin Jain, MD, MBA, special assistant to the national coordinator for Health IT office in Washington, D.C., to hear about the same topics from a national perspective.
During the second year of the program, the residents will begin working on a quality improvement project to champion as a group.
“The topic chosen must overlap the interests of the hospital, the Department of Medicine and the residency program,” Katz said. “Right now, they’re leaning in favor of a project to improve the discharge process, which is a particularly vulnerable transition for the patients as they move their care back to the primary care provider.”
In the third and final year of the program, the residents will choose individual projects within their own areas of interest and participate in a specialized leadership training seminar.
“Practicing medicine is no longer an individual activity. It requires a collaborative team approach,” Katz said. “We’ve seen more and more incoming residents who are interested in acquiring management skills to be more effective in this type of environment. The Medicine Management Leadership Track curriculum is specifically designed to meet those needs and prepare physicians to lead healthcare reform.”