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Service on student-run free clinic executive board improves leadership skills of medical students in the underserved medical system

Spencer Lessans (Department of Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Kristijan Bogdanovski (Department of Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Katherine R. Porter (Department of Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Katie Ballantyne (Department of Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Magdalena Pasarica (Department of Medical Education, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida, USA)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 26 October 2020

Issue publication date: 31 August 2021

189

Abstract

Purpose

As the need for effective physician leaders caring for underserved populations grows, it is important to initiate interventions for medical professionals early in their education. Board experience on a student-run free clinic serving vulnerable populations within the community has the potential to educate medical students in a hands-on environment. This paper aims to determine if serving as a leader of a student-run free clinic impacts leadership skills and future leadership goals of medical students.

Design/methodology/approach

Medical students leading a student-run free clinic completed an anonymous electronic survey to determine how this experience affected their teamwork skills, interprofessional leadership skills and future leadership career goals. The survey consisted of 12 items to which students responded with how closely they agreed via a five-point Likert scale with 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree. Descriptive statistics are reported.

Findings

From the 46 students (42.2% response rate) responding to the survey, 95.45% had a previous leadership experience and 89.2% expressed previous interest in a leadership position. Students scored on average 4.36 (out of 5) for improvement in teamwork skills, 4.34 (out of 5) for improvement in interprofessional skills and 3.88 (out of 5) for impact on future leadership career goals.

Originality/value

This study suggests that service on a student-run free clinic improves teamwork and interprofessional leadership skills as well as future leadership plans of medical students in an underserved vulnerable population environment. Other institutions could use student-run free clinics for early development of effective leaders in medical health care for the vulnerable population.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the KNIGHTS clinic research group for their contribution to the development, validation and deployment of the survey. The authors also thank the student board members of the KNIGHTS clinic for the dedication to underserved medical care and leadership.

Funding: This project was funded by the Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation.

Citation

Lessans, S., Bogdanovski, K., Porter, K.R., Ballantyne, K. and Pasarica, M. (2021), "Service on student-run free clinic executive board improves leadership skills of medical students in the underserved medical system", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 220-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-05-2020-0032

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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