Patients deserve the best from their physicians. That means pursing the mastery of good doctoring as a 21st Century physician, said Mark Wilson, M.D., professor and director of graduate medical education at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Wilson spoke to physicians and residents at the 26th annual William Goodson Lectureship on Nov. 9 at the UMKC School of Medicine.
Wilson is a general internist who launched a cross-departmental initiative in chief resident leadership development at the University of Iowa. He also implemented a certificate program in educational leadership for program directors.
Wilson said he believes there are things in the current medical education environment that are impairing the aspirations of resident physicians.
“Many of the messages they get are focused just on competency and not on mastering the pursuit (of excellence) and not on an excitement about pursuing that mastery,” Wilson said.
Wilson serves as chair of the AAMC’s Group on Resident Affairs and is part of the advisory committee to the GME Leadership Development Program. He said that graduate medical education program should have clear educational plans for training resident physicians and that if programs conduct graduate education in the same way as undergraduate medical education, “we’re not allowing the residents the thrill of discovering what they’re passionate about pursuing because we’re giving them prepackaged information.”
Wilson discussed factors that influence a person to pursue a mastery of their profession such as an inner drive and passion for the task at hand. It’s also important, he said, to spend time with true masters of their craft and to have exposure to role models, coaches and mentors.
Mastery requires that knowledge be laced with keen observation and communication skills as well as a curiosity and fascination with the human condition, Wilson said.
Many things, he said, must take place for one to be productive and successful in health care. That includes teamwork and encouragement along the way.
“It’s important that learners know that it is possible to master their pursuit,” Wilson said.