ORIGINAL RESEARCH 1770 DOWNLOADS

How do medical specialists perceive their competency as physician-managers?

Mark F.P. Bax1, Lizanne Berkenbosch2 and Jamiu O. Busari3

1Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

2School of Health Professions Education, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

3Department of Educational Development and Research, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

Submitted: 20/07/2011; Accepted: 13/11/2011; Published: 20/11/2011

Int J Med Educ. 2011; 2:133-139; doi: 10.5116/ijme.4ec0.08df

© 2011 Mark F.P. Bax et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: We investigated specialists' self-perceived competency as managers as well as their perceived need for management education and preferences regarding topics, duration and format of training.

Methods: We conducted a quantitative study of 127 medical specialists (response rate 42.6%) from four Dutch hospitals. A 36-item questionnaire was designed and sent by email, using the Survey Monkey web application. Quantitative content analysis was employed to analyse data.

Results: Specialists from 20 different specialties participated in the survey. The mean age was 47 years (SD=8.5) and the majority (76%) were male. Fifty-one per cent had prior management training and 72% had experience in a management position. Despite general good self-ratings, over 50% rated the balance of their personal and working life as neutral or lower. The specialists felt most competent in finding resources to keep their knowledge up to date. Previous management experience (p=0.001), surgical specialty (p=0.01) and >10 years of work experience (p=0.00) were related to higher ratings on overall management competency. Sixty-eight per cent (84/124) indicated a need for management training. The preferred training method was a workshop (79.3%; 96/121) by extramural experts (89.3%; 108/121) as part of the postgraduate curriculum (94.2%; 141/121). The preferred topics were knowledge of the healthcare system and time management.

Conclusions: Medical specialists felt competent about their management knowledge and skills, but indicated a need for management training. The indicated preferences for the training during residency and workshop format can be helpful in designing a management training curriculum.