Who Will Lead?
In a time of unprecedented challenge and change in health care …
When William Barsan, M.D., led the establishment of the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine in 1999, he also, by virtue of raising the discipline to department status, sharpened the view members of that department have into other disciplines and services. Emergency medicine is at the crossroads of all other specialties, a critical care entry point, and its wide window into how other services operate is one typically not shared by other specialties.
It was this unique perspective that gave rise to the idea that learning more about how the hospital — and entire health system — works would be valuable education for residents in training. “Doctors need to understand all that goes on around them,” Barsan says. “Understanding administration and operations makes them better citizens of the health care community and it’s critical for anyone, especially residents who have expressed interest in becoming involved in administration in their careers.”
And so, at Barsan’s request, the idea began to take shape, first as a popular seminar series emergency medicine residents could elect to attend, organized by Jeff Desmond, M.D., and Marie Lozon, M.D., both associate professors of emergency medicine. The series covered topics such as health laws, regulatory issues like privacy and compliance, advocacy and physician compensation, and “grew organically,” according to Desmond. Along with colleague Susan Stern, M.D., Lozon and Desmond were awarded a two-year U-M Graduate Medical Education Innovations Grant in 2008, and the emergency department seminar series idea that inspired it all became a structured 20-month program. Along with a separate medical education track, the effort that became known as the Healthcare Administration Track formed the GME Scholars Program, available to all resident trainees within the Health System.