The Art of Delegation
Rob Melendez, MD, MBA
As you move along in
your leadership position as chief resident, stop and reflect on ways to involve
others more in your goals. As a leader, one of your jobs is to promote others. Seek to
include others in as many projects as possible. For example, as you begin
planning your goals for this year from creating a wet lab for your program to cre
ating a mock session for oral boards, invite others to chair one of those committees. If you do not have committees created, then take this time to create them. You will always have the title of chief resident and reap benefits from it, but think of others too who need help building their own leadership skills and portfolio.
Take assessment of your residency program to determine the weaknesses and create committees to create solutions for those deficiencies. By involving others, you are also practicing the art of delegation. This requires you to be willing to do any job yourself that you ask others to do. Delegation is not simply pawning a job off to someone that you would not do. Show extreme enthusiasm for any project to motivate the other residents. Remind them that you want them to take the lead on a specific project to help the program. If they are not motivated enough by improving your program, remind them that it will help them when they are applying to fellowship and for their first job. Obtaining planning and organizational skills during residency is great practice and will serve them well in future leadership positions. When we join a practice, we will be asked to oversee a project to improve the practice or department. Every resident should be given the opportunity to lead in a project to improve your program. I suggest creating a list of projects and solicit the residents’ ideas too and ask which one they want to implement. Can you imagine if every resident had one mini project to improve in their program? Our goal is to help every program improve and as a result will improve ophthalmology at large. Involve others.