Stephen Linenberger, John Schmidt, and Jennifer Moss Breen have been named this year’s Most Publishable Leadership Education Paper Award winners. They will present their paper, “It’s Good for What Ails You: Leadership Education in Medical School,” at ILA’s 19th annual global conference: Leadership in Turbulent Times this October in Brussels.
Sponsored by SAGE Publishing, the winners will be honored at a special ceremony during the second annual Leadership Education Member Interest Group (LEMIG) Luncheon, Friday, October 13th at 13:30. In addition to the award ceremony, the luncheon will also feature a soon-to-be-announced guest speaker and table topics on major themes relevant to leadership education. We want to create “an atmosphere of conversation,” Thomas Yannuzzi, Chair of ILA’s Leadership Education Member Interest Group, explained. “There will also be tables for ‘open’ themes of discussion.”
Maggie Stanley, an acquisitions editor at SAGE Publishing, cited the LEMIG’s priority to “advance the field of leadership education to and from all corners of the globe,” as something the company wholeheartedly believes in. “As a values-driven, global company, SAGE is committed to providing the highest-quality resources for leadership educators. In addition to recognizing an outstanding unpublished paper, this award also helps support conference attendance by helping to fund the travel of the award winners.”
This winning paper focuses on leadership in medicine — a topic in the leadership sphere that is oftentimes overlooked and not granted enough attention. When asked what prompted the research project reported on in the paper, Moss Breen discussed the dearth of leadership education programs in the health sector. “While many universities offer programs that train physicians to move into healthcare administration, very few, if any, offer formal leadership programs that empower physicians to be more effective leaders in practice.”
Leadership education for physicians is essential, Moss Breen argued, because it can “positively impact team-based care.” Schmidt added, “The field of medicine needs to explicitly prepare all medical students for understanding the dynamic process of achieving outcomes through people and tasks that will ultimately benefit the patients for whom they will be caring.”
Their research is important, Linenberger shared, because it “has the potential for establishing a template or direction for leadership education in medical school that goes beyond leader-centric approaches, professional development, and career advancement. This project provided a rare opportunity to create a leadership curriculum from the foundation up in a profession that was just beginning to call for leadership education but was having a hard time defining what it means or looks like. Accordingly,” Linenberger explained, “we wanted to provide an alternative curriculum to the ubiquitous use of management training disguised as leadership education in academic medicine.”
Linenberger, Schmidt, and Moss Breen greatly enjoyed working on and tackling this project together. Schmidt, an associate professor of Pediatrics, revealed that his involvement was the result of Linenberger and Moss Breen, “educating me about the field of leadership. I then wondered why I had not learned this during my medical education.” The trio’s hope is that their research will have a direct influence on changing leadership education in medical school settings as others have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and work.
The first hurdle will be winning over medical school administrators and faculty. During the course of their research the team discovered that there is a great deal of resistance to “formally embedding leadership education in the m1 – m4 years because of their focus on the physical and health sciences.”
Even with the support of administrators and faculty, one has to then convince the students themselves of the importance of leadership education. Moss Breen expressed her surprise at their resistance and explained that they often did not see the value in learning leadership. It will be important, Linenberger suggested, to “teach the ‘science’ of leadership to medical students and to use as many scientific examples of teams, communications, etcetera as possible.” Moss Breen added, “When we help medical students understand leadership, we help them to not only be strong scientists, but we help them to artfully lead teams.”
Registration is now open for ILA's 19th annual conference, Leadership in Turbulent Times. Register today and when the concurrent session guide comes out later this year, be sure to look up Linenberger, Schmidt, and Moss Breen’s session, so you can come and listen to their research and connect with them in Brussels!