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Whole Brain Leadership for Creating Resonant Multidisciplinary Healthcare Teams

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Source Name: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery


Ross M. Ungerleider, Jamie Dickey Ungerleider

The culture of health care creates important challenges for health care professionals. In particular, this culture is 1) hierarchical, 2) competitive, and 3) perfectionistic. Unfortunately, the tendency of acquiescing to those demands is contrary to promoting resonant teamwork. It is important for leaders of multidisciplinary teams to understand how to create environments that flatten the hierarchy (by encouraging all team members to contribute and to genuinely seek the wisdom and knowledge of their colleagues), that encourage collaboration and cooperation (emphasizing collective “wins” and “losses” both for the immediate team as well as for all of us, as a profession), and that invites excellence (which is a process) rather than an expectation of perfection (which is an unrealistic outcome).

In this article, the authors outline the concepts that promote development of this kind of leadership thinking, which covers topics like emotional intelligence, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, and efficient, timely, equitable, unprejudiced and patient-centered care.

This a must-read for cardiothoracic surgeons, who are always leading their surgical team.

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