Medical Education: Outcomes and Opportunities| Volume 336, ISSUE 2, P168-173, August 2008

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Leadership in Graduate Medical Education: Eleven Steps Instrumental in Recovering Residency Programs After a Disaster

  • Jeffrey G. Wiese
    Department of Medicine, SL-50, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Ave., New Orleans, LA 70112.
    Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.
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      A disaster such as Hurricane Katrina can result in extensive devastation to graduate medical education programs. While clinical services largely determine the recovery of each residency program, program director leadership is important.


      A qualitative survey of program directors was conducted to determine the leadership lessons most instrumental after a disaster.


      Gaining control, establishing communication, designing a vision for the recovery, maintaining physical accessibility, and identifying leaders within the program were identified as critical leadership attributes associated with a residency program’s recovery. Understanding the logistics and finances of resident placement was also important.


      Preparing for a disaster is the best approach, but where a disaster policy is incomplete or inadequate, it will be the leadership skills of the program’s director that will define the success of failure of the residency program.


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