Teaching Students to Transform: The Health Innovations Scholars Program 6 Years Later

Am J Med Qual. 2020 Oct 8;1062860620961168. doi: 10.1177/1062860620961168. Online ahead of print.


Training in leadership and health system transformation is increasingly important in undergraduate medical education in order to develop a pipeline of engaged physicians dedicated to transforming health care. Despite this growing need, it is unclear whether current leadership training methods have long-term impact on students' career trajectory. The authors analyzed career outcomes from 6 years of the Health Innovations Scholars Program (HISP) to better understand how the program affected the 46 graduates' future involvement in health system transformation and leadership. Eighty-eight percent of the graduates remained involved in quality improvement, 70% held leadership positions, 31% participated in health innovation, and 15% participated in patient safety initiatives. Project involvement of the graduates represented both primary and secondary catalysts for health system change, leading to 28 unique catalyst events. HISP is a model for directing trainees' career trajectory toward engagement in health system leadership and redesign.

Keywords: health system; leadership in medicine; quality improvement; undergraduate medical education.