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Transformative Leadership Begins with Self-Development

Transformative Leadership Begins with Self-Development

If healthcare leaders want to transform our healthcare system so it is truly patient-centered and cost-effective and if we are serious about creating a culture of health in which we are preventing diseases long before they result in sickness, the place to start is with ourselves. All healthcare leaders—no matter whether you practice in a small office or a large hospital—because more often than not, physicians set the tone. But what you may not realize is that your mental and emotional state has a significant effect on the people around you. In his book Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, psychologist Daniel Goleman revealed: “The actions of the leader account for up to 70 percent of employees’ perception of the climate of their organization.”[1] Leading Means Showing the Way Unhappy, dysfunctional leaders cannot create high-functioning, compassionate practice environments, and a stressed out, unhealthy organization cannot take care of the health of others. So as physicians, we need to ensure that the effect we have on others is positive and beneficial. As leaders: ♦ If, when facing a problem, we display thoughtful intelligence rather than anger or frustration, we will inspire that behavior in others and promote creative solutions. ♦ If we are trustworthy and nurture a culture of trust, our colleagues will feel safe enough to communicate honestly, therein creating an environment in which real change is possible. ♦ If our words and actions demonstrate a deep commitment to cost effective, patient care, others will follow our lead, resulting in an improved practice environment. ♦ If we hold ourselves accountable for the vision and if we foster...
Assessing Women’s Knowledge of Stroke Warning Signs

Assessing Women’s Knowledge of Stroke Warning Signs

According to national estimates, stroke is the third leading cause of death among women in the United States, and the aftermath of these events is significant among survivors. Studies have found that about one-third of women who survive a stroke will need help caring for themselves, whereas 16% will require institutional care, and 7% will have an impaired ability to work. Each year, about 55,000 more women than men will have a stroke. There has also been a rise in stroke prevalence among middle-aged women that has not been seen in their male counterparts, highlighting the need for a better understanding of stroke among women of all ages. Research has shown that women from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds experience a disproportionate stroke burden. For example, African-American women have an incidental stroke risk that is almost twice as high as that of Caucasian women. Some studies indicate that the prevalence of stroke risk factors may be higher among Hispanic women. “Considering these risks, it’s important to assess the ability of women to recognize stroke warning signs at their onset,” says Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, PhD, MPH. “Early recognition may lead to more rapid access to emergency care, which in turn may result in decreased stroke-related morbidity and mortality.”   Surveying the Scene To improve outcomes and reduce disparities, it is important to address gaps in women’s knowledge as it relates to stroke warning signs. In 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) commissioned a national survey to determine women’s cardiovascular disease awareness. This survey also included an assessment of knowledge relating to stroke warning signs. For a study published in Stroke, Dr....
Social Media Postings: What’s Appropriate?

Social Media Postings: What’s Appropriate?

Patients who look for or are referred to physicians now have ample opportunity to seek background information on social media websites. Posted content can raise serious concerns on the part of patients about an individual’s suitability to practice medicine. “Social media sites like Facebook are powerful tools that can potentially influence whether a patient will choose a particular individual to be their physician,” says Casey White, PhD. Exploring What is Deemed “Unprofessional” Few studies have explored and compared what medical students, physicians, and the public (current or potential patients) feel is unprofessional for medical students to post on social media. Dr. White, together with Anuja Jain, MD, and colleagues, conducted a study that was published in Medical Education. Using various simulated Facebook screenshots portraying medical students, the investigators surveyed medical students, faculty (attending physicians), and members of the public on perceived appropriateness. Screenshots included students drinking, smoking marijuana, and posing partially nude. Respondents also reported whether they would be comfortable having the students who posted the content as their future physician. When compared with medical students, faculty members and the public rated the simulated Facebook images as significantly less appropriate. Faculty members and patients also indicated that they would be less comfortable having medical students who posted this kind of content on Facebook as their future doctor. All three groups rated screenshots with derogatory or private information about patients as least appropriate, followed by images suggesting marijuana use. Images showing intimate heterosexual couples were rated as most appropriate. Medical students were more accepting of postings involving same-sex relationships, alcohol use, partial nudity, and partying than either the faculty or...
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