The day after my Monday morning blizzard, the roads had been well cleared and looked awesome. I was elated just to be driving upon snow-free black pavement. I was sincerely appreciative of the municipal employees and plow operators who did their jobs all day and night so the rest of us could get out and do our jobs the following day. I had peace of mind knowing that my resident had returned to her home safe and sound the previous morning. I cannot stress enough how much weight was lifted from my shoulders upon learning that she had reached a safe harbor. I apologized for not being clear about the snow day plans. It likely will not be the last time I feel that I could have done better, but I also think the experience made it less likely a similar situation will happen on my watch again.
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Explore This IssueJune 2015
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While thinking about these topics, I came up with few suggestions for how we can all be better leaders.
Suggestions for fellowship training leadership opportunities:
- Designate a chief fellow. Perhaps senior fellows can share the responsibility for a few months at time, take a role in communicating the on-call schedule changes and act as a liaison between director and other fellows.
- Help fellows be responsible for creating and maintaining the conference/lecture schedule.
- Advocate that fellows be part of hospital committees, at least in an advisory capacity.
- Create leadership opportunities in the community (e.g., participate in various food drives, marathons, lectures for the general population).
- Ensure that fellows and trainees have a regular and unopposed voice during conferences. Encourage them to ask questions and provide respectful answers.
- Meet with fellows and listen to their feedback regarding their own training.
- Delegate one fellow to represent the others during staff meetings.
Weather and other element planning tips:
- Create and publish to all employees a plan for weather and natural emergencies.
- Have a clear system about where the messages come from and at what intervals they will arrive, and identify who will follow up on the inevitable loose ends. Winter can be long and we can all get fatigued and sloppy, so we need to know when, how and where to ask for help.
- With the abundance of electronic devices and Internet, we must take advantage of using social media, pagers, mobile phones and e-mails in circumstances in which they can actually perform a practical function instead of being a mere means of entertainment or trivial communication.
- Particularly in view of the large number of female healthcare workers, we need to be aware of issues related to childcare responsibilities while schools are closed or delayed.
- Have a plan that addresses how to fairly treat and compensate those colleagues who manage to make their way to work when others cannot.
- Emphasize flexibility and advance preparation.
Next winter will be here before we know it!