Mitch is a fifth year resident who is excited by the prospect of entering practice. He has always wanted to play an important role in managing the emergency department and has aspirations of becoming a department head. Mitch recognizes that his career goals will require him to take up new responsibilities such as personnel management and policy development. He wonders if there is anything in the residency curriculum that will help him prepare for these new responsibilities.
Emergency physicians play a vital role in managing the emergency department, developing policies, and chairing committees. Residents entering practice are often thrust into administrative roles with little preparation or instruction. Emergency physicians taking on new management roles will likely have difficulties as they adjust to their novel responsibilities. This Feature Educational Innovation (FEI), titled “Mini-curriculum in Management” was originally posted by the CAEP EWG FEI Team on March 11, 2016 and answers the question: “How can we prepare residents to be effective managers of the emergency department?” A PDF version is available here. A CAEP Cast is available here.
Description of the Innovation
To provide residents of the FRCP emergency medicine program with need-specific training in ED management. The goal is to prepare residents to play a determining role in the management of emergency medicine departments, in the organization of hospital care, and throughout the healthcare system.
The program director and members of the Praxie consulting firm, in Montréal, met several times to determine the needs of residents based on the experience of new EM graduates. This experiment demonstrated that early in their career, graduates are offered multiple administrative responsibilities such as: developing protocols and policies, chairing committees, and managing departments. Overall, graduates felt unprepared to fulfill these roles.
The team reviewed the training components already offered by the program and included them in the new curriculum.
This curriculum was prepared and tested this year. It includes 10 modules that residents complete during the 4th and 5th year of their training. Each module lasts two to three hours.
Module 1: Introduction
The residents learn about the consequences of mismanagement and how to problem-solve them. This module emphasizes the importance of leadership.
Module 2: Testimonials
Residents have an opportunity to meet with a panel of emergency physicians with extensive experience in management positions. These physicians share reasons to get involved, and the impact they have made.
Module 3: Life Skills
This module focuses on the importance of considering human factors within work teams and how to approach different types of personalities.
Module 4: Project Management
This module will introduce project management methods to the residents. They will also review the available tools such as a responsibility assignment matrix.
Module 5: Communicate and Convince
In this module the residents learn about best practices in communication, how to structure an argument, and basic political skills.
Module 6: Teamwork and Communication
Residents will learn about the effective use of the tools to promote teamwork. Examples of these tools are memos, agendas, email management, and meeting facilitation.
Module 7: Personnel Management
This module emphasizes the importance of recognizing personnel problems. It provides an overview of intervening with colleagues or employees who are struggling. It also highlights keys to successfully motivating and mobilizing one’s personnel.
Modules 8 and 9: Personal Finance and Taxation
This module will focus on the the resident’s personal finances and provide tools to assist in wealth management.
Module 10: Coaching
The final module will provide individual support for residents to take on management roles in their future practice environment.
The innovators launched the management program this year. Educators will need to evaluate the alignment between resident training needs and learning modules. Adjustments are already being considered. For example, the modules could incorporate discussions surrounding the prior experience of senior residents as emergency coordinators.
Share with us about how your program prepares its residents to manage an emergency department!
Are there other key modules that are important to include in this curriculum?
More about CAEP FEI
This post was originally authored for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Feature Educational Innovations project sponsored by the CAEP Academic Section’s Education Working Group and edited by Drs. Teresa Chan and Julien Poitras. CAEP members receive FEI each month in the CAEP Communiqué. CanadiEM will be reposting some of these summaries, along with a case/contextualizing concept to highlight some recent medical education literature that is relevant to our nation’s teachers.