Faculty Leadership Academy

The Faculty Leadership Academy (FLA) is a joint effort of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the University of Kansas Hospital to help improve the management and leadership skills of physician and basic science faculty members. Application to the program is required.


The History

The KU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development office and the Department of Health Policy and Management work in collaboration with the University of Kansas Hospital in offering a Faculty Leadership Academy during each academic year.  The University of Kansas Hospital began the program in 2007 offering a one year course for a group of faculty members which included chairs, division directors, center directors and others identified by chairs as potential leaders they felt worthy of being involved in the training. The KU program was originally entitled Hospital Physician Leadership Academy and courses were coordinated by Lee Norman, MD, Hospital vice president chief medical officer, and Bill Barkman, MD, MSPH, chief of staff. Since 2008 the course co-directors include Lee Norman, MD, Robert Klein, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Glen Cox, MD, chair for Health Policy and Management, with program support from Marty McLaughlin and Elizabeth Wenske-Mullinax, Ph.D. In 2008 the aim of the program was expanded to target the needs of the basic science faculty as well.

According to Dr. Norman, physician leaders often have highly refined clinical, teaching and research skills, and many have boot-strapped their way into strong leadership skills.  Dr. Klein believes the same to be true for basic science faculty leaders. The Faculty Leadership Academy is a program to further develop skills that are usually not formally taught and learned by physicians or basic scientists in medical or graduate school, but are necessary to succeed in leadership positions. The program is professionally prepared and presented by The Advisory Board Academies (ABA), a part of The Advisory Board Company (ABC) located in Washington, DC and London. 

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, The Advisory Board Company serves a membership of more than 2,700 leading hospitals, health systems, universities and other mission-driven enterprises in the United States and, increasingly, worldwide. Their staff is comprised of over 900 researchers, terrain-based experts, hospital administrators, clinicians and consultants, all dedicated to examining the critical issues facing our members and discerning "True North", communicating these insights and best practices with clarity, and providing innovative support such that members can achieve "best in class" performance. They offer an array of professional services-including research, executive education and development, decision-support tools, and consulting-allowing them to target the unique needs of each member institution.

In aggregate, their research staff has spent over 200,000 hours of research and development time creating a comprehensive curriculum. At the center of their team are faculty members who facilitate the workshops. Faculty are selected based not only on their credentials and experience in health care but also on their teaching capabilities. In addition to their role in facilitating Advisory Board Academy workshops, each faculty member also serves as a faculty advisor to a pool of institutions to help guide participant selection, curriculum, and application planning, as well as align course content with partner strategic priorities.

The Program

The Faculty Leadership Academy (FLA) is a joint effort of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the University of Kansas Hospital. The FLA, with its fifth entering class in the Fall, 2012,, has approximately 100 graduates, and it continues to be well-received by attendees as a career and skill-enhancing program. The purpose is to help improve the management and leadership skills of physician and basic science faculty members that may not have been part of the training and experience as a scientist and clinician. Attendees are nominated by their respective department chairs. The course of study for each attendee spans two academic years, with four core courses per year, each of which is a half-day in length.

Curriculum may include topics such as financial management skills, patient safety principles, analytic problem solving in the work setting, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, change management, and quality and performance improvement, to name a few. The core courses consist of modules developed by the Advisory Board Company (ABC) in Washington DC. Courses are taught by ABC educators and are facilitated by our local KUMC and KU Hospital experts at KU. The sessions contain a mixture of didactic lectures and practical exercises. To the degree possible, local examples and vignettes are used. The courses are taught on the KUMC Campus and consist of four 4-hour sessions each academic year between October and May. Physicians will receive Category I CME credit for their participation. The program allows participants to feel more comfortable and be more effective in their management and leadership roles, as well as improve professional satisfaction and support retention among members of the faculty in the School of Medicine.

Approximately 30 faculty leaders are enrolled each year. It is expected that participants will attend all the courses, since the program does have high demand and a waiting list of non-attendees for each cohort. We realize emergencies can occur so program graduates who have finished the two curricular years may join in on sessions that they missed in the prior two years.

One program change this year, recommended by the planning committee and strongly endorsed by the department chairs, is that each attendee commit to doing a quality and/or performance improvement project, either starting a new one or expanding upon ongoing research you're currently doing. It is anticipated that a) participants will utilize their new knowledge and skills, b) that the project will have relevance to some aspect of the participants professional pursuits, c) that it will be scholarly activity endorsed by department leadership, and d) that it could or should involve resident physicians as well (since the ACGME requires this now as an accreditation standard) or, for basic science faculty, graduate students or post-docs. The committee will, as a class, help individuals identify mentors and resources to assist. Participants will be asked to commit to a project by late December and be given a year to complete it.

Last modified: Nov 27, 2013
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