Developing leadership competencies among medical trainees: five-year experience at the Cleveland Clinic with a chief residents' training course

Australas Psychiatry. 2016 Oct;24(5):499-505. doi: 10.1177/1039856216632396.


Objectives: Challenges in healthcare demand great leadership. In response, leadership training programs have been developed within academic medical centers, business schools, and healthcare organizations; however, we are unaware of any well-developed programs for physicians-in-training.

Methods: To address this gap, we developed a two-day leadership development course for chief residents (CRs) at the Cleveland Clinic, framed around the concept of emotional intelligence. This paper describes our five-year experience with the CRs leadership program.

Results: Since inception, 105 CRs took the course; 81 (77%) completed before-and-after evaluations. Participants indicated that they had relatively little prior knowledge of the concepts that were presented and that the workshop greatly enhanced their familiarity with leadership competencies. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses indicated that attendees valued the training, especially in conflict resolution and teamwork, and indicated specific action plans for applying these skills. Furthermore, the workshop spurred some participants to express plans to learn more about leadership competencies.

Conclusions: This study extends prior experience in offering an emotional intelligence-based leadership workshop for CRs. Though the program is novel, further research is needed to more fully understand the impact of leadership training for CRs and for the institutions and patients they serve.

Keywords: chief residents; course; emotional intelligence; leadership.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Education / methods*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Educational Measurement / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Ohio
  • Physicians