Students high-five at a leadership day activity

Leadership Program

Influencing Positive Change

Physicians must provide transformational leadership at many levels. This begins with a deep self-awareness and connection to one's values, purpose and mission. Transformational leadership is key to building highly effective teams, fostering interprofessional collaboration, providing exceptional patient care, and positively impacting complex systems.

Michigan has a long history of graduating leaders. Our innovative curriculum embeds and integrates leadership training during the entire medical school experience with the goal of preparing students to influence positive change for the rest of their careers.

As a medical student at Michigan, your leadership and management skills are cultivated through a variety of action-based learning experiences that fulfill three critical domains for future physicians:

Working with faculty coaches and mentors, you’ll track your progression with the Michigan Leadership CV starting in the first week of medical school. This tool provides an individualized framework to map leadership activities and assess milestones as they are completed, with the flexibility to adapt to your personal goals and interests. The CV aligns with the ERAS application, which will be very useful when applying for residency in your chosen field.

Students may also choose to have one-on-one leadership development sessions with a faculty advisor. These sessions are tailored to the student’s individual experiences and goals to assess how they can leverage their strengths to take their leadership skills to the next level.

Specific activities in the Leadership curriculum are designed to develop leadership skills, including:

  • Large-group events.
  • Case-based learning.
  • Hands-on sessions.
  • Self-reflection.
  • Longitudinal faculty mentorship.
  • Capstone projects.

Drop-In Office Hours

Every month, our Leadership faculty offer students a chance to stop by and ask any questions about the leadership curriculum, share thoughts on new sessions or ways to improve, discuss challenges with a student group, or to get guidance and ideas for further development.

Francis Collins, MD, with Michigan medical students
Dr. Francis Collins, NIH director and UMMS alum, shares his story during a Conversations with Leadership event.

Conversations with Leadership

Throughout the year, notable University of Michigan Medical School alumni return to campus as featured guests of our Conversations with Leadership series. Alumni share their experiences and expertise, followed by a Q & A with students. Some speaker events are co-sponsored with student groups like NextGen Med.


Med Student Story Series

As part of the Medical Student Grand Rounds series, the Story Series gives students a chance to tell a story from their life and relate it to what they have learned so far in med school. These lunchtime events are co-sponsored with the Communication Collaborative, a student-run organization to help students improve their oral presentation skills.