On Friday March 15, twenty-five faculty members of the Department of Family Medicine, along with six facilitators and three presenters, participated in the first in-person session of the Family Medicine Leadership Development Course (LDP) launched this past January. Organized by the Department’s Faculty Development team, with support from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science’s Leadership Development Committee, the course includes eight blended-learning sessions over six months covering topics such as leadership styles, team building, conflict management, strategic planning, and leading change. The program, geared towards those for whom leadership forms part of their current or future career trajectory, includes both in-person and online workshops. The material is presented through plenary sessions, interactive pre-module exercises, serious games and small group dialogues to foster learning.

The morning session on March 15 focused on effective teams and was led by Dr. Catherine Jarvis, Director of Faculty Development at the Department of Family Medicine. Participants put what they learned into practice when they competed in teams to build a Tinkertoy prototype. Using the concepts they had learned in the plenary session which included building teams, team member styles, communication and understanding team dynamics, three teams had just 30 minutes to build their final product. “Participants found the Tinkertoy exercise fantastic and it really puts the theory into practice as people experience a team in action,” said Dr. Jarvis.

Faculty members participating in the Tinkertoy exercise

The afternoon session was led by the amazing mother-daughter duo of Miriam Carver (President, Carver Institute) and Professor Tamara Carver, Director of the Office of Ed-TECH (Education Technology and E-learning Collaboration for Health) who addressed the issue of conflict management. “Most people do not want to talk about conflict, but Team Carver made us understand more deeply the importance of understanding and managing conflict,” said Dr. Jarvis. One participant noted that the session was “inspiring and hopeful” going forward in dealing with conflict.

Overall, the feedback was very positive and participants noted that the course is a great way to work together, learn about distinct roles and get to know one another with a different perspective. They also noted that the longitudinal framework and mix of online/in-person activities have allowed participants from across Quebec to benefit from the experience and that the ease of interaction with the participants was much appreciated.

The Leadership Development course, which began in January 2024, will continue until June and is intended to help faculty members of the Department of Family Medicine to:

  • identify their goals as leaders in the health professions;
  • analyze their own leadership styles and consider how style influences practice;
  • apply a framework for analyzing change to specific situations in their own professional contexts;
  • identify different conflict management styles and negotiation strategies;
  • describe an approach to establishing and leading effective teams; discuss key issues related to organizational development and strategic planning.

Congratulations to the team for launching this Leadership Development Course!