Rob Melendez, MD, MBA

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The Art of Delegation


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.

Ophthalmology Chief Resident as Manager & Leader

Chief Resident as Manager and Leader

Rob Melendez, MD, MBA

Managers are about Controlling and Problem Solving

Leaders are Motivating and Inspiring

What are the differences between a Manager and a Leader? The goal of this article is to identify when we are displaying each trait and how we can become better leaders and managers. Mangers tend to run the day-to-day activities and Leaders tend to run the year to year activities. As a chief resident, your main role is as a manager with opportunities to display leadership. Managers tend to be controlling and problem solvers whereas Leaders tend to be more motivating and inspiring. Below are some examples of each.

Chief Resident as Manager-Controlling and Problem Solving

-Identify the weak areas of performance on the OKAP exam and create study strategies to improve. Create study sessions for future residents and a study plan for the year.

-Look for ways to problem solve whether it is fixing the call schedule to arranging the Grand Rounds presentations.

-Try to involve the residents in solving the solution. This is actually displaying leadership too. This will empower the residents and hopefully prepare one of them for the chief resident position.

Chief Resident as Leader-Motivating and Inspiring

-Encourage residents to remain positive even though some of them may not have scored as well as others on the OKAP exam.

-By sharing your score, this could motivate others to do better next year or inspire them how brilliant they are because they did better than you. A leader tries to be transparent and creates the opportunity for others to learn from them.

-Offer incentives for doing well on the OKAP exam. This act will motivate the residents.

Encouraging your residents to study extra hard for the OKAP exam and making it one of the highest priorities only makes it easier for them when it is time to take the written and oral board examination.

-One way to inspire your residents is when you are on back-up call. Plan to go in and help with a couple of patients while your lower level resident is on-call. Offer to buy them coffee or a drink. Try to do this unexpectedly and with every resident. They will appreciate your kindness. Take this opportunity to teach a pearl or two.

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