A key goal of programs in health management, policy and research is to transform students into effective leaders. Academic experience can impart knowledge about the skills or competencies required but may not be sufficient to transform students into leaders of health system change.
Classroom experiences inform graduate students about leadership competencies and provide a baseline for leadership development, but the guidance and mentorship of established leaders expose students to the thought processes and mindsets of individual leaders and build students' capacity to deal with disruptive change.
We describe a unique dialogue-based leadership development experience that addresses these challenges and opportunities. All respondents felt the experience fully met its aims and were satisfied or fully satisfied with the structure and format. All respondents rated the conditions within sessions as successful or highly successful and found the materials provided to be helpful or very helpful. There were no significant differences between the responses of experienced leaders and those of emerging leaders. Dialogue-based sessions involving postgraduate trainees and experienced faculty appear to have significant educational benefit for aspiring health system leaders.
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