How We Lead Our Young Clinicians

Premier Pulse     July 2022

Colon_336x336By Roberto Colon, MD, chief medical officer, Miami Valley Hospital

Summer is always an exciting time of the year. Many of us have an opportunity to spend additional time with our families and we get to enjoy longer hours of daylight. And each year, summer is also a time when we get to see many new faces arrive at our hospitals. New residents, students, and staff join our teams around this time to learn and help care for patients in our community. If you are one of these new faces, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you to our Premier Health team.

As you know, one of the core missions in medicine, and for Premier Health, is education. This duty extends not just to our patients and community, but to our future health care workers. Being a former program director, I have had the privilege of being very close to this work for a large part of my career. I can tell you that one of the keys to learner success is the medical staff. The environment we create – how we teach and model behavior – will stay with our young clinicians for the entirety of their medical careers.

I still remember one of the best pieces of advice I received early in my education journey was to think back to my own experiences as a medical student. Think about what worked well and what did not.  Medical education has evolved greatly since many of us completed our training and has moved away from the confrontational environment in which many of us learned.

It is imperative that we remember our role as teachers and role models for our young clinicians. We are not only leading the care of patients, but we are also shaping malleable minds. We can be instrumental in giving them a great experience while setting them on the right path in medicine. This takes patience, and recall, there was a time when you yourself were a novice, too. It necessitates us showing grace, lest we forget that we have also made mistakes. And it warrants a sense of wonder: just imagine what many of these young clinicians could accomplish with our guidance. We have the privilege of being entrusted to care for patients but also a duty to teach those who will follow in our footsteps. 

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