Inaugural FHS Interprofessional Symposium on Leadership
Interprofessional education is a priority in undergraduate medicine, as it is in our fellow health professions programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences in the School of Nursing and School of Rehabilitation Therapy.
Early this month (or last month, if you’re reading this after Tuesday), we brought together over 300 students from nursing (fourth-year undergraduates), medicine (second-year undergraduate program), occupational therapy (first-year master’s) and physiotherapy (first-year master’s) at the Leon’s Centre for a one-day symposium with a particular focus on leadership.
A key challenge in creating interprofessional learning opportunities is coordinating time, space, and learning objectives of independent programs with different classroom and clinical schedules. A committee of representatives from four programs, including student representatives, tackled this challenge earlier this year, working collaboratively to create the program and learning activities for the symposium. The day included plenary speakers, interactive case studies, and a bit of fun along the way.
Our plenary speakers included Dr. David Walker, former FHS dean; Lori Proulx Professional Practice Leader -Nursing and Kim Smith Professional Practice Leader Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy from Kingston Health Sciences Centre; and Duncan Sinclair, former vice-principal of Health Sciences
Students were seated in interprofessional table groups to engage in discussions around cases and use IP tools for decision making.
We’ve taken lessons learned from organizing this event as well as formal and information feedback from students and other participants to carry forward to the next iteration of the symposium.
Latest Exceptional Healer winners announced
The latest Exceptional Healer: Patient and Family-Centred Award for the Kingston Health Sciences Centre were presented recently. The EH award competition, which is in its third year, now includes a separate award for nurses. The two selection were unequivocal in choosing Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and nurse Tracey Froess in the Cancer Centre as exemplars in patient and family-centred care, Susan Bedell shares.
Of Valez, one patient wrote: “She made me feel human in a medical world.” Another added: “I’m so pleased that Dr. Velez works for a teaching hospital as new (and experienced) doctors have much to learn from her in terms of benevolent, flexible, and accessible patient-centred care.”
One patient wrote that Froess’ “passion and dedication to her patients shines brightly!” while another noted she “routinely empowers families to take ownership of their situation identifying what will work best for them and delivering it.”
Over the last three years, the following individuals have been awarded the Exceptional Healer Award:
2017 Dr. Richard Henry – Anesthesiology & Chronic Pain Clinic
Dr. Tom Gonder – Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist
2018 Dr. Shawna Johnston – Obstetrics & Gynaecology
2019 Dr. Maria Velez, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Nurse Tracey Froess – Cancer Centre
Patients, family members, staff, and students learning at KHSC are encouraged to submit nominations each year.
Here is more about Dr. Maria Valez and Nurse Tracey Froess, from the original blog post from the KHSC site:
Masters in the art of listening
By Christine Maloney
Putting patients and families at the centre of their care has earned nurse Tracey Froess and Dr. Maria del Pilar Vélez Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s (KHSC) Exceptional Healer Awards.
Froess and Dr. Vélez were among 22 nurses and physicians nominated by patients, families and staff for the annual award. Originally created by the Patient & Family Advisory Council, it honours those who demonstrate the core concepts of patient- and family-centred care, dignity and respect, participation and collaboration.
For Dr. Vélez, an obstetrician and gynecologist focused on improving women’s reproductive health, her success goes beyond having knowledge, skills and dedication.
“I believe in showing compassion, and especially, to listening to patients and acknowledging the importance of their needs,” she says.
The patient who nominated Dr. Vélez felt supported and empowered throughout her care, writing in her nomination “She wanted to hear what I had to say first.” and “She went at my pace and in the directions and options I wanted to explore. I felt she understood what my values were and did everything she could to accommodate them.”
The winner in the nurse category this year, Tracey Froess works in one of KHSC’s cancer clinic. Her patient’s expressed their appreciation by saying “Tracey always took the time to listen to our concerns and we never felt rushed. We always felt respected and valued. She made the whole experience more comforting.”
“I learned from another esteemed colleague to really listen to your patients,” Froess wrote when asked about her secret to patient-care success. “This advice has always done me well in my career.”
Upon reflecting on what it means to receive an Exceptional Healer Award, both Froess and Dr. Vélez were quick to acknowledge those around them.
“It makes me realize that I have been lucky to work in the right place, with a great team, which has had a positive impact on my care of patients,” said Dr. Vélez.
Froess added, “KHSC is full of exceptional healers. I know… I’ve been fortunate to work along side them every day.”
A holiday reading list on leadership and change
In his keynote address at the UGME fall faculty retreat on December 10, Dr. Gary Tithecott addressed the topic of Leading change for success in medical education during challenging times. Dr. Tithecott is Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University.
During his presentation, Dr. Tithecott cited a few books and mentioned others as worth delving into. As I like to do here, I’ve created a “Top 5” list from those he mentioned (OK, it’s actually six books, as he recommended two from a single author). These books are practical and accessible reads with clear advice, he said.
There’s still time to add some or all of these to your holiday wish list.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
The traditional attitude – Fixed Mindset – dictated that your fate is determined by skill you have genetically and that you demonstrate, Dr. Tithecott explained. With a Growth Mindset , by contrast, asserts that with dedication, encouragement and effort you can learn from and with others to increase your ceiling.
Since one key responsibility for a leader is to develop other people, a Growth Mindset is essential, he said. Citing an article from Forbes magazine, he noted a Growth Mindset allows leaders to
- Be open-minded
- Be comfortable with ambiguity & uncertainty
- Have strong situational awareness
- have a greater sense of preparedness
- have clarity on what others expect
- Take ownership
- Grow with people
- Eliminate mediocrity and complacency
- Break down silos
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
One key to success in leadership, Tithecott said, is in the power of working hard and sticking to it. For a leader it’s supporting someone to go outside of their box. He quoted Duckworth:
Grit, in a word, is stamina. But it’s not just stamina in your effort. It’s also stamina in your direction, stamina in your interests. If you are working on different things but all of them very hard, you’re not really going to get anywhere. You’ll never become an expert.
Leading Change and XLR8 by John P. Kotter
OK, this is actually TWO books, not one. Noting that no talk on change and change leadership is complete without including Kotter, Dr. Tithecott recommended both Leading Change and the more recent XLR8.
He reviewed Kotter’s list of why change fails:
- Not Establishing a Great Enough Sense of Urgency
- Not Creating a Powerful Enough Guiding Coalition
- Lacking a Vision
- Under communicating the Vision by a Factor of Ten
- Not Removing Obstacles to the New Vision
- Not Systematically Planning for, and Creating, Short-Term Wins
- Declaring Victory Too Soon
- Not Anchoring Changes in the Corporation’s Culture
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
The symbolism of leaders eating last – exemplified by the US Marine Corp chow line, described by Sinek – points to leaders who put their team first. This in turn, leads to more acceptance of the challenges of change, Tithecott said.
The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma
Leadership can be found in different places and doesn’t necessarily mean the person “at the top”. Where and how leadership for change can be developed can vary, Tithecott said, recommending Sharma’s book.