SELECT students bond with leadership group

The members of the inaugural class of USF’s SELECT MD program are now members of the nation’s largest organization for physician leaders.

The American College of Physician Executives visited the SELECT students Thursday and announced that the 19 first-year medical students would receive free memberships in ACPE.

ACPE leaders hope that the organization and its 10,000 physician members can be an educational and mentoring resource for the students, said Dr. Barry Silbaugh, CEO of ACPE, to the students. He’s glad to see a group of students already interested in taking leadership roles to change the healthcare system.

“You will have a chance to improve the system,” he told them. “Because it’s broken.”

The first class of SELECT (Scholarly Excellence. Leadership Experience. Collaborative Training) students entered the USF College of Medicine this fall. The program, which USF operates in partnership with the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA, is designed to train the next generation of physician leaders.

Dr. Alicia Monroe, vice dean of Educational Affairs, said she’s excited to see what the SELECT students will learn from ACPE.

“We are delighted and so grateful that ACPE has generously reached out to our SELECT students,” said Dr. Monroe. “We look forward to nurturing this relationship, and seeing how ACPE’s physician leaders can help our students on their educational journey.”

On Thursday, students asked Dr. Silbaugh about his own decision to move toward medical management and what steps they should follow in their own training.

Dr. Silbaugh, who received his MD from the University of Iowa, practiced for about 14 years as an internist and hematologist and became frustrated by the problems he saw in the healthcare system.

“After 14 years in practice, I realized things weren’t working very well,” he told the students. “But I was not trained to think or talk or act like the people making these decisions.”

That realization prompted Dr. Silbaugh to further his education and shift the direction of his career.

Students said Thursday they are grateful for ACPE’s help and see the organization as a resource.

“This is a wonderful opportunity, especially for students in our program, who are focused on thinking outside the box,” said student Kyle Correll.

SELECT students will spend the first two years of medical school and then go to Lehigh Valley for two years of clinical training.

SELECT students met all the traditional requirements to be admitted to the College of Medicine and were then chosen for SELECT after going through a special interview process to assess emotional intelligence. The interview process was designed in collaboration with the Teleos Leadership Institute. Founded by two best-selling authors and scholars from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, Teleos focuses on finding how leaders can improve organizational outcomes through emotionally resonant leadership.

Story by Lisa Greene, photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications