The Main Course

The Main Course is our leadership development series. In these episodes we hope to supplement the gap in leadership development in contemporary medical education by exploring leadership development topics from a range of professions. Below you can find our episodes and interviews for The Main Course:

Esprit De Corps and the Importance of Curiosity with Dr. Stephen Swensen

Dr. Swensen is dedicated to the support of thoughtful leaders who aspire to nurture fulfillment of their staff. He is a recognized expert, researcher and speaker in the disciplines of leadership and burnout. Dr. Swensen serves as Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where his focus is Joy in Work. He works as the Leadership Theme Leader for NEJM Catalyst. For three decades he served patients at the Mayo Clinic. As Director for Leadership and Organization Development, he co-led the Professional Burnout Initiative and oversaw the development of 4,100 physicians and 232 key leaders. As Chief Quality Officer, he established the Quality Academy wherein 37,000 colleagues were certified as Fellows during his tenure. As Chair of the Department of Radiology, he and his team used their Value Creation System to improve the welfare of both patients and professionals. As professor in the Department of Radiology, he was Principal Investigator of two National Institutes of Health grants and has authored three books and 207 articles. He was honored with the Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award, served as the president of two international societies and founded the Big Sky Group. Dr. Swensen has been married for 43 years, has two children and has completed 39 marathons

Drew Dudley on Day One Leadership and Lollipops for Patients

Called one of the most inspirational TED speakers in the world, Drew Dudley is on a mission to help people unlearn some dangerous lessons about leadership. As the founder and chief catalyst of Day One Leadership, he has helped top organizations around the world increase their leadership capacity. His clients have included McDonald’s, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, the United Way, and more than 100 colleges and universities.

Prior to this, Drew spent eight years as the director of one of Canada’s largest leadership development programs at the University of Toronto. Drew is also the bestselling author of This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters. It debuted at #6 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. As a speaker, Drew has delivered keynotes to more than 250,000 people across five continents. His TED talk “Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment)” was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time”.

Lt. Gen. Dr. Mark Hertling on Inter-Perfessional Physician Leadership

Lieutenant General Mark Hertling retiring from the US Army in January 2013 and recently served as Senior Vice President at Florida Hospital. He is now an advisor to the Advent Health Leadership Institute, where he designed and teaches a physician and healthcare strategic leadership development program. His book, Growing Physician Leaders, was published in May 2016. Mark served in the US Army for 38 years as a tanker and cavalryman, commanding at every level from tank platoon to Field Army. He finished his Army career as the Commanding General of the US Army Europe, after leading over 60,000 soldiers and partnering with the Armies of 51 other nations. He served a total of 38 months in combat, including a tour Commanding the US Army’s 1st Armored Division and Task Force Iron in Northern Iraq for 15 months during the surge. He was also the First commander of the Army’s Initial Military Training Command, where he revamped basic training for incoming soldiers, and he also commanded at each of the Army's three training centers. Among many of Mark’s awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, several Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Parachutist Badge and awards from international governments including Romania, Poland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

In this episode we discuss his experience as a military leader, leading during crisis, as well as his dissertation project that he recently completed.

Tragic Optimism Part 2: Finding your Why

It’s the proverbial question. Starting from the first time you utter an interest in medicine. Your parents, your friends, your mentors, your teachers, admissions committees- everyone asks you, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” This is not just a question you should think about before medical school, but one to revisit throughout your career. In last week's episode we introduced one facet of Victor Frankl’s idea of tragic optimism. Another part of this idea is with respect to finding your purpose. Frankl’s basic tenet is that those who are driven by purpose, rather than the pursuit of happiness, are more able to weather the storms ahead. Physician burnout is an example of one of those storms, and leading yourself and others from a place of purpose can help overcome it. In this episode we’ll explore how to find your “why?”, what it means to be purpose driven and how to lead from a place of purpose.

Why Medical Trainees Need More Leadership Training with Dr. Tom Hustead

In this episode we interview Dr. Tom Hustead. Tom graduated from West Point in the top 3% of his class and then from Case Western University School of Medicine. As a retired Army Colonel, highlights from his distinguished career include being awarded Flight Surgeon of the Year for his service in combat, Outstanding Faculty of the Year for his medical teaching, and board selection as Department Chair for a family medicine residency department. As a result of his appointment by the Army Surgeon General to be the “face of military medicine” to recruit and share the Army Medicine story, Tom recognized a need and developed a passion for teaching physicians across the country to be effectively engaged leaders. In his final appointment in the military, Tom was the commander/CEO of a NATO military medical facility at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium. With an emphasis on servant leadership, Tom’s core conviction is that effective leadership is never about the leader, but is focused in creating a culture where those being led can flourish. In 2018 he co-found The Referent Group, a team seeking to develop better medical leaders through longitudinal workshops, programs and coaching. In this episode, we discuss his journey to becoming a leader, as well as why he believes leadership development is crucial for the medical community to thrive in the future.

Intentional Leadership: Interview with Cal Walters

In this episode we had the pleasure of interviewing Cal Walters on what it means to lead and live intentionally. Cal is a major in the US Army; recipient of numerous awards through the military and throughout his education at West Point and the US Army Ranger School and Chief of Military Justice at the historic 82nd Airborne Division. Cal is the host of one the top Management podcasts where he regularly interviews best-selling authors and influential thought leaders from numerous industries. Cal's passion is to inspire others to become their best self. We certainly enjoyed getting a chance to talk with him. If you want to connect with Cal, follow him on Instagram, subscribe to his podcast "Intentional Living and Leadership" and check out his website.

The Importance of Mentorship

Professional development is a long road wrought with many decisions we sometimes don’t feel equipped to make. Having a trusted network of people, especially people who have walked the path you’re walking is imperative to personal and professional development. Mentors not only provide a source of knowledge, they can also be someone who motivates you, keeps you accountable and can advocate for your success. On the other hand, being a mentor can be an incredible growing experience and awesome way to help others who could benefit from your knowledge and experience. In this episode we’ll explore what mentorship is and isn’t, how to find a good mentor, what it takes to cultivate a good mentor-mentee relationship and how to become a mentor. In this episode we explore the importance of mentorship in medical leadership development and discuss the value of "being on both sides of the fence"