Since 2012, we have built and sustained a Leadership Development Program (LDP) within the Department of Surgery. This year-long program includes half to full day sessions to prepare Associate-level and full Professors with the necessary skills for institutional and professional society leadership, including leadership, team building, business acumen and understanding context (local, regional, and national).
Each cycle of this program includes approximately 25 mid-career and senior faculty. We have recently completed the 4th cycle, ushering more than half of the faculty through the program. We have found this program to become a key tool for reflection on departmental challenges and opportunities; a unique opportunity to build relationships across clinical silos; and a launching point for other faculty development initiatives.
The program is 8 months long and includes the following key elements:
- 8 full day seminars and longitudinal learning: The backbone of the program was monthly Friday sessions where the entire group was present for didactics, experiential learning, and in-person group projects. For each of the 8 days, we made it a priority to include high quality didactics, engaging speakers, and content that would be valuable to our cohort. As shown below, these days were designed to support learning in each of our areas of competency, including leadership, team building, business acumen, and healthcare context.
- 360-degree feedback and coaching: Each participant undergoes a 360-degree evaluation by their direct reports, peers, and supervisors. We also thought expose our faculty to executive coaching, as a tool for personal improvement. Each participant has two sessions with a coach to debrief and develop a personal improvement plan.
- Longitudinal group projects: To enhance team building among the cohort, participants conduct group projects during the program. There are a broad range of group projects conducted, but they all aim in some way to improve the department of surgery using what was learned during the program. Many of the projects went on to launch new faculty development programs that are aimed to enhance faculty engagement and culture.