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Simulating the physician as healthcare manager: An innovative course to train for the manager role

By Maximilian Gradel, Stefan Moder, Leo Nicolai, Tanja Pander, Boj Hoppe, Severin Pinilla, Philip von der Borch, Martin R. Fischer and Konstantinos Dimitriadis


Introduction: During their formal studies medical students acquire extensive medical expertise. However, the medical profession demands additional competencies, such as those involved in efficient resource allocation, business administration, development, organization, and process management in the healthcare system. At present students are not sufficiently prepared for the physician's role as manager. In response, we designed the seminar course, MeCuM-SiGma, to impart basic knowledge about healthcare policy and management to students of medicine. This project report describes our teaching strategies and the initial evaluation of this educational project. Project description: In this semester-long, seminar course introduced in 2010, medical students gather experience with the competencies mentioned above as well as learn basic management skills. The course is offered each winter semester, and students sign up to attend voluntarily;course coordination and organization is done on a voluntary basis by physicians and employees of the Mentoring Office (MeCuM-Mentor) at the Medical School of the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. The course is open to all students enrolled at the two medical schools in Munich. During the first part of this elective, students learn about the basic principles of the German political and healthcare systems in case-based, problem-based tutorials led by trained tutors and in lectures held by experts. In the second part of the course students take on the roles of the University Hospital's executive board of directors and supervisory board to work on an existing hospital project as a group within the scope of a simulation. This phase of the course is accompanied by workshops conducted in cooperation with university-based and off-campus partners that address the procedural learning objectives (teamwork, project management, negotiation strategies, etc.). A suitable, authentic issue currently facing the hospital is selected in advance by the course organizers in coordination with the hospital's executive board. Students then work on this issue in the third and final phase of the course under the supervision of tutors and with assistance from hospital employees. At the end of the course the students formally present the results of their work to the hospital's executive and supervisory boards. Results: The course undergoes written student evaluation, a round of oral feedback, evaluation of the final projects, and feedback from the hospital's executive and supervisory boards. All attendees to date have reported a substantial gain in general knowledge and increased knowledge about the healthcare system, and rate the relevance of the course as being high. The majority felt the content was important for their future practice of medicine. Overall, students evaluated the course very positively [ overall rating on a six-point grading scale (1=excellent;6=unsatisfactory): 1.28 (mean)+/- 0.45 (standard deviation)]. Discussion: The importance of the physician's role as manager in medical organizations and as a guiding force in the healthcare system is neglected in medical degree programs. Our seminar course attempts to address this shortcoming, is the object of great interest and receives positive evaluations from seminar participants, our cooperative partners and the executive and supervisory boards of the University Hospital in Munich

Topics: Medizin, ddc:610
Publisher: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.3205/zma001040
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Open Access LMU
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