Effective physician leadership is critical to the future success of healthcare organizations. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Leadership Fellows Program is a one-year program designed to train young orthopaedic surgeons to become future leaders in orthopaedics. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the AAOS Leadership Fellows Program on the leadership skills and achievements of its participants.Methods:
Graduates of the Leadership Fellows Program were compared with a control group of previous applicants who were not accepted to the program (applicants) in a retrospective cohort comparison study. A subjective survey of leadership skills was used to assess the confidence of the two cohorts in eight areas of leadership. In addition, an updated curriculum vitae from each of sixty leadership fellows from the classes of 2003 through 2009 and from each of forty-seven applicants was retrospectively reviewed for evidence of leadership. The updated curriculum vitae of the leadership fellows was evaluated for leadership activity attained prior to and following participation in the program, while the updated curriculum vitae of applicants was evaluated for leadership activity attained prior to and following the last year of application to the program. Curricula vitae were assessed for demonstration of national leadership, academic rank, hospital administrative rank, and research experience.Results:
On the leadership survey, the graduates of the Leadership Fellows Program scored higher than the applicants in seven of eight categories. The review of the curricula vitae demonstrated that, prior to the Leadership Fellows Program, the leadership fellows were more likely than the applicants to have an academic practice and hold an academic rank. The difference between the two cohorts in administrative rank and leadership of national committees was not significant. Following the program, the leadership fellows were more likely to chair national committees (p < 0.001) and hold leadership positions in their hospitals (p = 0.008). Furthermore, the leadership fellows were more likely to advance in their academic and administrative ranks compared with those who applied to the program and were not accepted.Conclusions:
The AAOS Leadership Fellows Program seems to have a positive impact on the leadership competency of its participants. Graduates of the program are more likely to assume leadership positions in national organizations and within their own institutions.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.