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.”
In response to the leadership training vacuum, the Upstate Neurology Residency created the “Leadership Academy at Upstate Neurology.” In July 2019, Dr. Terrence Cascino, MD, FAAN, past present of the AAN visited campus to launch the Leadership Academy at Upstate Neurology. The Academy is a 3 year recurring curriculum integrated into the existing curriculum.
First year Neurology residents (R1s/PGY-2s) are 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.
 Lerman C and Jameson JL. Leadership Development in Medicine. NEJM 2018;378;20:1862-1863