Volume 8 no 4

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Reviewed by Serena Siow, MD


Reviewed by Serena Siow, MD


A simulation-based learning activity developed by the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, in collaboration with Global LEADs*


Physicians interested in building leadership skills should consider this engaging learning activity. Using simulation, the participant navigates situations common to medical leaders at a fictional hospital set in the future. The ability to “choose your own adventure” provides a fun and interactive way to assess and develop personal leadership competencies applicable to multiple specialties and practice settings.


This activity challenges previous thinking that leadership skills are fixed. Rather, leadership capabilities can be developed with conscious and intentional effort. Similar to the development of clinical skills during training, this activity provides a safe environment for physicians to practise and refine their skills. After an initial self-assessment, the participant selects responses moving through various simulated situations that lead to earning or subtracting points. A debrief provides personalized evidence-based feedback for the responses selected, as well as guidance for future development efforts.


The content explores concepts related to domains and capabilities within the LEADS framework. Participants will gain knowledge fundamental to any leadership role, including leadership styles, workforce challenges, and using meaningful data. There is an emphasis on caring for people as leaders through empathetic listening and inviting input about priorities. There is also an acknowledgement of real challenges that come with taking on leadership roles, such as reduced personal time and occasional self-doubt. Promoting mistakes as part of learning, the module offers encouragement but cautions that the leadership journey involves reflection, growth, and may be non-linear.


Two minor opportunities for improvement are noted. Family physicians who are not members of the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders do not have access. The ability to reflect on learnings with other participants would be nice. As more participants complete the activity, hopefully reflective discussions will happen in real time within groups of medical leaders.


Three hours passed quickly, thanks to solid educational content and the use of humour and creative simulation. The ability to complete this activity asynchronously while earning CME credits makes it highly recommended for anyone with access. Emerging leaders will learn foundational concepts of medical leadership, whereas more seasoned leaders will gain advanced insights. This activity should be essential for all medical leaders.


*Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Continuing Professional Development

https://cpd.royalcollege.ca/product?catalog=LEADS-EN  Use code: CSPL001 to access the site.



Serena Siow, MD, CCFP, is a family physician, leader, and coach. She is interim medical representative, Wellness Diversity & Development, deputy section chief medical inpatients, Department of Family Medicine Calgary Zone, Alberta Health Services, and clinical assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.


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