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Healthcare: Providing Doctors With Team Management Training

Team management for doctors
Published on
07 July 2017

In 2013, a pilot program was launched to train French doctors, pharmacists and department heads to better understand team management. This program was a turning point in the management process at the French public hospital in Grenoble (CHU GA). Since the beginning of the program, Grenoble Ecole de Management has trained more than 20 doctors to boost their team management skills.

The project grew out of the realization that while doctors are highly specialized experts in specific fields, their knowledge of management practices is rather weak. “Management is not an innate skill. Doctors have solid training in their fields of expertise, but they are not given training to manage their teams. Yet management is an integral part of their daily activities,” explains Karine Palombi, an opthamologist at CHU GA and the president of the continuing education commission at the hospital.

French public hospital guidelines require doctors be provided with training programs in multidisciplinary fields. The goal of this initiative is to improve the attractiveness of public hospitals vis-à-vis private institutions. The Management program offered by GEM is part of this initiative.

Strong support by doctors and hospital staff

Doctors are very much interested in management training. “They express real needs to improve communication and teamwork. Yet we are really neophytes in these fields. I had trouble defining my own role as a manager and coordinator. It was difficult to grasp my perimeter of action,” says Karine. There is strong demand for management training that is coherent with the needs of medical teams. Hospitals bring together a wide variety of personalities and responsibilities that require the right management approach. A medical team can be very diversified with administrative staff, nurses and doctors. Each has very different roles, but each is essential to properly meet a patient’s needs. As a result, it’s important to foster shared goals, collaboration and team spirit.

Developing the ability to think like a manager

Throughout their education, doctors are confronted with a very individualistic learning process due to many factors such as competitive entrance exams. “The idea of this management training program is to help doctors develop their vision as managers within a team setting. The program helps doctors understand how to set up rules and processes as well as how to think as managers. For example, I now implement individual meetings with team members, I organize team meetings and I have tools to help solve conflictual situations,” highlights Karine.

The program began in 2013 and was started again in March 2017. It aims to improve the overall management quality at CHU GA. “We are improving quality thanks to better processes. We improved the fluidity of our interactions and this had a positive impact on interpersonal relations,” concludes Karine.

Innovative pedagogy to match the needs of doctors

Jocelyne Deglaine, a consultant and associate professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, initiated this Medical Team Management training, which is a first in France. She is specialist in HR management, a certified personal development coach and a therapist trained in transactional analysis. Jocelyne is deputy head of the GEM institution for organizational agility. She helps manage and implement both continuing education and traditional programs. She works to support individuals, directors, teams and organizations in order to facilitate cultural and relationship changes.

Program goals

  • To understand your behavior as well as others’ behavior in order to improve interaction and performance at the hospital
  • To learn how to collaborate in order to build an efficient team that provides a positive work experience
  • To discover your behavioral profile

The program is a four day course with three days being taught by GEM. The fourth day is taught by the CHU GA occupational health department. A fifth day is also included to analyze managerial habits.

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