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Quality Improvement & Physician Leadership


The Quality Improvement and Physician leadership Distinction Pathway aims to provide a focused, hands-on, and practical experience to internal medicine residents for them to understand the practical application of improvement science in health care. This skill building is accomplished through independent self-study, participation in a mentored, longitudinal quality improvement project and through educational sessions.

During the residency years, there is often limited structured time for longitudinal training in quality improvement (QI). Secondly, scattered QI opportunities may be challenging to independently navigate for trainees. Thirdly, lack of structured mentorship may increase the risk of frustration and disengagement with QI. Lastly QI and Leadership skills are in high demand.

This distinction pathway, hence, helps to bridge the gaps in QI and leadership education for our trainees and enables them to get additional skills in these areas . Our goal is for our residents to feel confident in their ability to lead health system wide quality improvement initiatives post residency training.

Distinction Domains

QI Education:

The QI education sets the knowledge base to start a practical journey in health systems improvement science. Through self-study, residents obtain the “Basic Certificate in QI and Patient Safety” through the IHI’s (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) Open School. Additionally, residents also participate in the annual fall QI Boot Camp and the distinction specific monthly evening educational sessions.

Engagement in QI activities:

This experiential educational component of the distinction is accomplished through participation in a mentored long term QI project where residents get to apply the IHI methodology learned through self-study and QI Boot Camp.

Engagement with leadership:

The physician leadership skill component of the distinction is taught through resident participation in monthly evening leadership sessions. Health system physician leaders from Yale and non-Yale settings are invited to lead these sessions focused on specific leadership skills The residents are provided with opportunities to interface, network, and learn the leadership journey from these physician leaders through a robust and dynamic discussion in a small group setting.

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Naseema Merchant, FCCP, FACP, FHM, MBBS