AUGUST 20 2020 – Seventeen physicians from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties gathered in October 2019 to launch the fourth annual Physician Leadership Academy (PLA), a collaborative program between the Palm Beach County Medical Society (PBCMS), the Broward County Medical Association (BCMA) and the Dade County Medical Association (DCMA).
One participant, Gregg Goldin, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Lynn Cancer Institute in Boca Raton, said the program was an invaluable experience for a physician like him, who is new in his
“Leadership skills aren’t taught in medical school, yet we are all inherently leaders as part of our daily responsibilities,” he said. “The high caliber of national speakers and practical teachings were excellent. We gained knowledge about how to effectively lead by example and create safe and friendly cultures for both staff and patients.”
When the pandemic derailed the in-person meetings, the group decided to use the opportunity to share how various health care providers were handling the COVID-19 virus. As the final sessions, from March to June, shifted to virtual, the group heard presentations from such organizations as the Lynn Cancer Institute, FAU Medicine, Medical Specialists of the Palm Beaches, Cleveland Clinic and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. These presentations were part of a class project aimed at encouraging patients to seek necessary care. The class continues to work on the specifics of that public service campaign, which they plan to release soon.
“We need to convey to the public that we as providers are creating safe environments for patients,” said Dr. Goldin. “We were seeing that a lot of patients are afraid to seek care for non-COVID-19 related issues and putting themselves at risk.”
Perhaps the most important benefit of the PLA, according to Dr. Goldin, is the training to help physicians gain a seat at the decision-making table, often occupied by administrators only. “We need to be speaking up for physicians and our patients,” he said. “The Academy teaches us how to do that.”
Since its inception, the PLA has graduated 60 physicians, all of whom also received continuing education credits. All participants must apply for the limited spaces in the program, which is administered by Palm Beach County Medical Services through a grant from The Physicians Foundation. The Florida Medical Association provides medical education credits for the seven sessions. For more information about the PLA, contact Program Director Karen Harwood at 561-433-3940, ext. 119 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.