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CMA targets students, residents with first online leadership course

For the past 35 years the CMA has encouraged and nurtured medical leadership by focusing its leadership-related teaching efforts on practising physicians, and the main tool has been face-to-face meetings offered by its Physician Management Institute (PMI).

This year, however, some of that attention will switch to the leaders of tomorrow when the CMA launches a leadership course for medical students and residents. The initiative will also mark the first time the CMA has offered leadership training online.

The course, which at this time is open only to students and residents who are CMA members, is eligible for up to 22 credits from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Participants have two options.

A facilitated leadership course will be offered five times throughout the year (Feb. 3-March 16, March 24-May 4, May 19-June 29, Sept. 15-Oct. 26, and Nov. 10 to Dec. 21). Participants will move through the course together by completing one module per week, but can schedule their time online to meet personal requirements.

Although it is a virtual course, instructor Paul Mohapel, PhD, will be available to provide participants with guidance and feedback throughout the course. The facilitated course also includes three webinars, virtual meetings with peers from across the country, and three online assessments. It costs $499.95, but discounted prices are available for groups of 10 or more students and residents.

A self-led leadership course that allows participants to proceed at their own pace is also available, and students and residents can start the course work at any time. It costs $49.95.

“We decided to pursue online training because we wanted to find a new way to foster leadership development among students and residents, although this will soon be extended to practising physicians as well,” explained Patricia Lightfoot, PhD, the CMA’s associate director of online physician learning.

The idea for this course took root after the release of recommendations from Future of Medical Education in Canada committees that leadership development should be part of both undergraduate and postgraduate medical training. Further support was provided during the 2012 Canadian Conference on Physician Leadership, which was co-hosted by the CMA and Canadian Society of Physician Executives. Feedback from students and residents following that meeting “indicated a desire that we design some program content aimed specifically at those two groups so that they could have access to leadership development at an early stage in their careers. This course is the result.”

Further details are available at or from Lightfoot,

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