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Integration of leadership training into a problem/case-based learning program for first- and second-year medical students

Authors Ginzburg SB, Deutsch S, Bellissimo J, Elkowitz DE, Stern JNH, Lucito R

Received 1 November 2017

Accepted for publication 2 February 2018

Published 9 April 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 221—226

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S155731

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder


Samara B Ginzburg, Susan Deutsch, Jaclyn Bellissimo, David E Elkowitz, Joel NH Stern, Robert Lucito

Department of Science Education, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA

Purpose: The evolution of health care systems in response to societal and financial pressures has changed care delivery models, which presents new challenges for physicians. Leadership training is increasingly being recognized as an essential component of medical education training to prepare physicians to meet these needs. Unfortunately, most medical schools do not include leadership training. It has been suggested that a longitudinal and integrated approach to leadership training should be sought. We hypothesized that integration of leadership training into our hybrid problem-based learning (PBL)/case-based learning (CBL) program, Patient-Centered Explorations in Active Reasoning, Learning and Synthesis (PEARLS), would be an effective way for medical students to develop leadership skills without the addition of curricular time.
Methods: We designed a unique leadership program in PEARLS in which 98 medical students participated during each of their six courses throughout the first 2 years of school. A program director and trained faculty facilitators educated students and coached them on leadership development throughout this time. Students were assessed by their facilitator at the end of every course on development of leadership skills related to teamwork, meaningful self-assessment, process improvement, and thinking outside the box.
Results: Students consistently improved their performance from the first to the final course in all four leadership parameters evaluated. The skills that demonstrated the greatest change were those pertaining to thinking outside the box and process improvement.
Conclusion: Incorporation of a longitudinal and integrated approach to leadership training into an existing PBL/CBL program is an effective way for medical students to improve their leadership skills without the addition of curricular time. These results offer a new, time-efficient option for leadership development in schools with existing PBL/CBL programs.

Keywords: student-centered, learner-centered, self-directed learning, curricular innovation, higher-order thinking

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