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Leading by Example

July 22nd, 2016

Jacob Dowden, M.D., gained Valuable leadership experience in the Tennessee Medical Association’s Physician Leadership Lab.  

Now more than ever before, physicians are being called into leadership roles. And although physicians receive a great deal of training during medical school and their residency, that training doesn’t generally extend to running a business or collaborating to lead a team of health care professionals that may include administrators, nurses, and other physicians. 

As a way to train physician leaders, the Tennessee Medical Association has expanded its leadership development opportunities to include two leadership courses – the Physician Leadership Immersion Program and the Physician Leadership Lab. University Surgical Associates’  Jacob Dowden, MD, recently participated in the leadership lab, a multi-month program that focuses on improving care through better clinical team work.

Dr. Dowden has seen firsthand how this leadership education can improve the quality of patient care he provides. “In the operating room, as a surgeon you have to lead the team and be a leader and control how things go,” Dr. Dowden says. “But you also have to create an environment where everyone on the team feels like they can say something if they see something that’s wrong.” 

The open leadership skills and the teamwork based approach to patient care learned in the Physician Leadership Lab are resulting in higher quality patient care, better preventive medicine services and greater collaboration between doctors, patients and other health care providers.

Read the full story about how physician leaders are making a substantial impact on patient safety and patient satisfaction in “A Need to Lead” in this edition of Tennessee Medicine, a journal of the Tennessee Medical Association. Physicians interested in a new class of TMA’s Leadership Lab will convene this winter. Visit for more information or to apply. 

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