Leadership Academy

The Upstate Neurology Residency program will launch the Leadership Academy at Upstate Neurology in July 2019.

The Leadership Academy at Upstate Neurology will incorporate best practices in leadership training derived from business and academic sources to implement a leadership development curriculum for neurology residents. A process of continuous resident-driven evaluation and quality improvement will be used to optimize and expand the program over time.

The residency program will offer numerous opportunities for residents to put their evolving leadership skills into play throughout training. Examples include: medical student mentoring and evaluation, senior resident roles, "Lead" Roles during the final year of training and Chief Residency.

The Academy will comprise a 3 year recurring curriculum integrated into the existing curriculum. First year Neurology residents (R1s/PGY-2s) will be introduced to basic concepts of leadership. Second year residents (R2), in sessions separate from the R1s, will practice skills critical to effective leadership (difficult conversations, conflict resolution), and third year neurology residents (R3) will play a key role in teaching the leadership curriculum to their younger colleagues. Residents will assess their own leadership potential and track its development throughout residency. 

Meeting the Need for Leadership Development for New Physicians

Physicians become de facto leaders the moment they earn their medical degree. During residency, interns lead complex teams of medical students, nurses and patients. Senior residents have the added responsibility of directing junior residents. Following graduation from residency, many physicians advance to administrative positions in private practice and academic settings. Yet despite the demands of leadership placed on physicians by their roles as default team leaders, physicians receive little to no training in leadership. A recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine pointed out this deficit and asserted that "health systems should make leadership development an organizational priority."

— Lerman C and Jameson JL. Leadership Development in Medicine.  NEJM 2018;378;20:1862-1863

Planned Course Content

(Monthly noon conferences)

First year sessions: (First year of curricular launch, R1-R3 residents will attend these sessions)

  • What makes a leader? Introduction to Emotional Intelligence (Dr. Bradshaw)
  • Leadership assessment questionnaire
  • Discussion of leadership questionnaire results: Surprises, insights and what now? (Leadership Team)
  • Leadership styles and applications (Guest speaker)
  • The ABCs of organization: getting things done. (R3s, Dr. Bradshaw)
  • Burnout education: Personal and institutional factors. Focus group identifying local drivers of burnout for junior residents. (Dr. Bradshaw)
  • Teaching and mentoring Medical Students (Senior resident teaching award winners & senior medical students, moderated by Clerkship Director)
  • Effective listening (role plays) with R3s
  • Building successful teams: Panel discussion with nursing, clerical staff and R3s
  • Communication styles/challenges (TBD)
  • Providing feedback (role plays)
  • Annual Leadership Program Evaluation

Second year sessions: Deployed during the second year of curriculum. These sessions are held separately from the R1/R3 joint sessions. Speakers to be determined.

  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership questionnaire (completed by peers/nursing)
  • Discussion of results (separate session from R1s)
  • Leading effective meetings/delivering effective lectures
  • Overcoming resistance to change (guest speaker)
  • Negotiation skills
  • Remediation
  • Crisis management
  • Cultural and gender considerations for leaders (guest speaker)
  • Leading in Health Care (guest speaker)
  • Basics of Health Care Finance (guest speaker)
  • Annual Leadership Program Evaluation

Third year sessions:  Deployed during the third year of curriculum.   R3s take a role in teaching the leadership curriculum to first year residents.

  • One-two R3 residents teach R1 session on Leadership and EI
  • Leadership questionnaire (self-assessment)
  • Joint discussion of results with R1 class
  • One –two R3 residents teach R2 session on Effective Meetings and Lectures
  • One-two R3 residents teach R1 session on Organizational Skills
  • One-two R3 residents deliver session on Burnout to R1
  • Those R3s who have earning the departmental teaching award will deliver the R1 session on Medical Student Teaching
  • Assist R1s with Role Plays on Listening Skills
  • Panel discussion with R1s on Successful Teams
  • Teach session to R1s on Communication Styles and Challenges
  • Coordinate and supervise R1 Role Plays on Providing Feedback.
  • Annual Leadership Program Evaluation