ACPE offers a wealth of physician leadership education options, including live and online courses. The core curriculum includes courses that cover the basics of negotiation, managing physicians, finance, and more. ACPE also offers courses that count toward four different medical management degrees, including an MBA.
“The ACPE is probably the No. 1 resource for physicians who want to develop skills in leadership,” says Dr. Gaillour, who is an ACPE fellow. “Their core courses are valuable, as well as fun and interesting. Beyond the basics, you can go as deep as you want in a specific area. About one-third of their curriculum is newer topics for more experienced physicians.”
Dr. Howell says ACPE courses “get a lot of traction among the leadership [committee]. They have courses relevant to hospitalists and hospital leaders.”
Patience Agborbesong, MD, has completed several ACPE courses. Currently an assistant professor as well as the medical director of the hospitalist program at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., Dr. Agborbesong first discovered ACPE courses as a newly promoted HM group director. “I took ‘Managing Physician Performance,’ a Web-based class with an actual instructor,” she says. “That course was particularly helpful to me. It covered interviewing job candidates, giving feedback and performance reviews, and dealing with disruptive individuals.”
One difference between SHM’s Leadership Academy and ACPE courses is class makeup. SHM’s Academy attracts a hospitalist crowd; physicians from all specialties attend ACPE courses. “I like the SHM Leadership Academy because it focuses on the hospital environment,” Dr. Agborbesong says, “but the ACPE is good, too, because I like to know how other worlds work—like private practice.”
Teach the Teacher
For academic hospitalists, a whole subset of specialized training exists, including the new Academic Hospitalist Academy. Co-sponsored by SHM, the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), and the Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine (ACGIM), the academy will teach the practical knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to succeed as an academic hospitalist.
“The first one will take place in November,” says Jeffrey Wiese, MD, FACP, FHM, SHM board member and associate professor of medicine at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, as well as associate chairman of medicine and director of the Tulane Internal Medicine Residency Program. The four-day course “covers teaching, working on research, and generally putting together a portfolio of academic work. It will also include some education on quality, knowing that academic hospitalists do a lot of research on this.”
Dr. Weise also recommends the Teaching Hospital Educators (THE) Course: “What Clinical Teachers in Hospital Medicine Need to Know.” It is offered as a pre-course at HM09 this month in Chicago. It debuted at the 2008 annual meeting and drew rave reviews, Dr. Wiese says. “This is a one-day course that focuses on the teaching component of being an academic hospitalist,” he says.
Don’t overlook training opportunities offered by your group or institution, as they can help you save on travel and registration costs. “Investing yourself in whatever you have available is essential,” Dr. Howell stresses. “Most organizations have some leadership training, or some mentorship program. Even if it’s something like a course on dealing with difficult people offered by your human resources department, this is a great place to start, especially for those hospitalists just beginning to think about leadership.”
A side benefit of taking training offered by your employer is that you’ll position yourself for further training at your organization’s expense: “Many groups are willing to invest in their leaders, and I think they would give you CME money for leadership training … if you’ve demonstrated your interest by going to those free [in-house] courses, or taken it upon yourself to take a community college class or an online course,” Dr. Howell says. “This shows you’re ready to invest in yourself.”