Deconstructing the ABC's of leadership for successful curriculum development and implementation in residency education

L.K. Sonnenberg*, V. Do, J. Maniate, M.K. Chan, B. Kvern, B. Prevost, J. Busari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Leadership decisions occur frequently throughout the day, yet as clinicians, who balance multiple roles and responsibilities, the authors seldom label them explicitly. This translates to missed opportunities to foster the requisite skill sets junior trainees to require in their current and future contexts. While there is clear evidence for a purposeful leadership curriculum, developing, implementing and assessing these competencies remains challenging. The purpose of this paper is to provide educators with a curricular approach to incorporate leadership opportunities in their own teaching and supervisory practices. Design/methodology/approach A dyadic "teaching and assessment" strategy may overcome leadership curricular challenges. The authors propose a new framework that breaks down leadership opportunities into their requisite learning settings. Like fine wine and cheese, these learning experiences are paired with assessment strategies to provide further formative and summative feedback, all in the context of educational theories and frameworks. Findings In this paper, the authors recommend six unique learning environments for educators to consider, captured in the abbreviation ABC'S3 for administrative, bedside, classroom, simulation, self-awareness and summarization, all of which lend themselves to leadership development opportunities for resident physicians. The authors provide tested examples and pair these teaching options with a variety of assessment strategies to choose from. Practical implications Three practical implications are put forth in this paper, namely, leadership competencies are needed for everyone, not just for those with leadership titles or positions; multiple learning settings (and all aspects of work) can be harnessed to provide diverse leadership opportunities; and advancement beyond Miller's knows is needed to create opportunities to hone practical leadership competencies in the shows how and does levels. Originality/value This paper uniquely pairs learning opportunities with assessment strategies across diverse practical settings and environments. These techniques and opportunities will serve to stimulate ideas and kick-start dialogue about incorporating a practical leadership curriculum within clinical training programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalLeadership in Health Services
Issue number1
Early online date16 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2022


  • Assessment
  • Medical education
  • Curriculum
  • Leadership development
  • Junior doctors
  • Competency-based medical education (CBME)
  • Postgraduate training
  • NEED

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