November 16, 2017

Connecting Physician Leaders Across Wyoming

The Physicians Foundation awarded a grant to the Wyoming Medical Society Wyoming Leaders in Medicine Physician Leadership Academy to support high-level training in leadership and advanced critical thinking skills. Sheila Bush, executive director, Wyoming Medical Society, shares how this program has partnered with the Physicians Foundation to assist Wyoming physicians in learning more about the healthcare landscape across multiple Wyoming communities.

Q. What is the Wyoming Leaders in Medicine Physician Leadership Academy and what is its purpose?

The Wyoming Medical Society (WMS) Wyoming Leaders in Medicine Physician Leadership Academy offers Wyoming physicians the opportunity to learn more about the healthcare landscape in Wyoming, while receiving high-level training in leadership and advanced critical thinking skills. The seven-session program provides the opportunity for physicians to travel to multiple Wyoming communities and connect with providers and hospitals located within the communities as well as allow for observation and debate on the various healthcare delivery models and public policy.

Q. How is the program curriculum designed to improve the wellbeing and leadership skills of Wyoming physicians? Please share a few examples.

The Wyoming Medical Society has contracted with FutureSYNC International, an executive coaching firm in Montana, which was key in the development of the Montana Medical Association’s successful physician leadership program. FutureSYNC, with direction from the program’s Advisory Council, developed modules to provide physicians with the tools and skills necessary to engage their communities and effectively influence the future of healthcare.

Module topics include:

  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence
  • The Influence of Outcomes
  • Team Engagement Strategies
  • Thinking Strategically
  • Effective Transition & Change Management
  • Personal Accountability
  • Generations Working Together

Q. How can Wyoming physicians join the program? Please share the estimated time commitment to complete this program.

Each year, program dates will be announced at the WMS Annual Meeting, with an application period opening up afterward in early February. The request for applications will be published on the WMS website. The program commitment consists of one Friday and Saturday each month for the months of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. Saturday sessions end in the early afternoon, allowing participants to return home by the evening.

Q. What are your short-term and long-term goals for this program?

The overarching goal for this program is connectedness. Each of the sessions are delivered in various locations around the state to allow for observation and debate on healthcare delivery models and public policy. Given the widespread geographic and rural characteristics of Wyoming, there is oftentimes a lack of network building opportunities. As such, WMS has been intentional in creating this program to cultivate both relationship building and personal growth. The travel portion of this program increases connection not only within the program class itself, but it also facilitates collaboration across community lines as local physicians and members of the county medical societies integrate with the class at each location. Participants will develop knowledge and application of leadership skills in their employment settings and community, and develop an awareness of healthcare issues and potential solutions facing Wyoming. Individual session outcomes are listed here. 

Q. How has the grant from the Physicians Foundation helped further the cause of the Wyoming Physician Leadership Program?

The grant from The Physicians Foundation has made the creation and execution of this program possible. The support of the Physicians Foundation has been instrumental in providing this opportunity to Wyoming physicians.