Building Teams in Health Care

Chest. 2021 Jun;159(6):2392-2398. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2020.09.092. Epub 2020 Sep 21.


Because teams can accomplish goals that individuals cannot, teams matter. Indeed, teams especially matter in settings such as health care, where favorable outcomes depend critically on the contributions of many different people with diverse skills. As important as effective teambuilding is for health care, how to build teams is often not included in medical curricula, and physicians learn to build teams through "hidden curricula." In the context that we can do better, this "How I Do It" presents an approach to building a team in a common scenario for the chest physician: picking up the inpatient Pulmonary Consult Service. The approach is informed by considering the attributes of an effective team, knowledge of common team dysfunctions, and best practices for building a team. The importance of teambuilding is underscored by substantial evidence that effective teamwork produces superior clinical outcomes.

Keywords: appreciative inquiry; chartering; deficit-based thinking; team; teambuilding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Physicians / standards*
  • Referral and Consultation*