Published: January 30, 2020

IN A NUTSHELL:

  • Understanding your professional strengths and weaknesses is key
  • Identifying a persona during residency helps pick career path
  • Program highlights five “physician personas” and their fitting careers

Being aware of your professional strengths and weaknesses can have a solid impact on paving the most fitting career path in health care.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMCC) worked together to create a program that addresses professional identity development in graduate medical education.

The curriculum helps physicians-in-training identify their “resident persona” and learn how it could help them succeed in their medical career.

The program is known as the Goals of Life and Learning Delineated Project (GOL²D) and will train residents in one of five different physician personae.

The first step is for a resident to identify which physician persona best fits their goals and skills. Dr. Jimmy Stewart is one of two primary investigators on the project and offered some insight on each of the five resident personae:

1. Structurally Competent, Structurally Humble Physician

This physician persona is one that focuses on the social determinants of health from a structural standpoint. In essence, this physician is one who looks at how things are put together and then pushes for changes at the clinical level that address health inequalities. Dr. Stewart believes a person with this persona might fit well in a rural or urban clinic and is a person interested in public health offices.

2. Creative, Curious Physician

Those who fit into this physician persona are keen to engage in problem-solving and innovation. Dr. Stewart said this type of physician would be interested in translational research, e.g. applying their knowledge from biology and clinical trials to develop better methods to meet patient needs.

3.  Leader and Advocate Physician

This persona is someone who is working for change on a large scale. Throughout the GOL²D program, Dr. Stewart and the supporting programs aim to give students who identify with the advocate persona practical knowledge on creating policy and making it stick.

4.  Grounded in Health Systems Science Physician

The American Medical Association defines Health Systems Science as the study of how health care is delivered and how to improve the quality of health care for patients and populations. Someone that fits this persona would look at quality improvement and patient safety in great detail. This would likely lead to a career beyond the clinical realm.

5.  Master Adaptive Learner and Teacher Physician

This physician persona interests anyone who is seeking a career in academic medicine. The persona describes someone who goes beyond a personal understanding of their own skill set and focuses on how they can help future physicians flourish.

The GOL²D is among eight projects awarded funding from the American Medical Association as part of the AMA Reimagining Residency initiative

Information From: The American Medical Association

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