Innovations in Healthcare

Interactive Quality, Leadership Lessons for Residents


An interactive program to teach quality and leadership skills to internal-medicine residents at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City—described in an Research, Innovations and Clinical Vignettes (RIV) poster presented at HM12 in San Diego—found that medical trainees are eager and willing to learn the skills that will be required from hospitalists in a reformed healthcare system.1 Lead author Brian Markoff, MD, SFHM, associate chief of hospital medicine at Mount Sinai, says the Healthcare Leadership Track’s elective, one-month block in quality improvement (QI) and patient safety was established with four second-year residents in 2011-2012.

Along with didactic presentations, participants were offered novel structured learning exercises that included:

  • Teaching a care-transitions module to interns;
  • Proposing a new clinical pathway;
  • Leading a conference on QI;
  • Examining a hospital readmission for what went wrong;
  • Pairing with a ward medical director;
  • Conducting a mentored QI research project; and
  • Participating in a book club.

All four participants from the first year “strongly agree that the block was highly relevant to their current and future careers,” Dr. Markoff says.

In their third year, the residents will have the opportunity to participate in one-month electives for leadership, teaching, and the business of medicine.

Six new second-year residents are joining the program, and longitudinal components span the program’s two years. “Most institutions that train residents have a lot of this activity going on,” he says. “Why not get house staff involved in experiential learning in these areas?”


  1. Markoff B, Dunn A. Healthcare leadership track: a novel track to train leaders in inpatient medicine. Paper presented at: HM12, Society of Hospital Medicine annual meeting; April 1-4, 2012; San Diego.

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