Things They Didn’t Teach in Medical School Part 13: Understanding How Teams Work

Well this is a half truth. Teamwork is emphasized at medical school. But is it really taught the way it works in the real world. It is more theoretical than real In medical school you do team based exercises but these are largely with peers. In hospitals and other healthcare settings there is a mix – doctors, nurses, allied health and all of differing levels of seniority. And particularly in the hospital system there is pretty constant turnover of junior staff.

We examine the competency of individuals but not of teams or competency within a team.

Teams can become dysfunctional if there is one bad player or sometimes they continue to excel despite a poor team player – nobody really knows why.

For me the key issues are clear roles, inter-team member support (the buddy system) and a common purpose.

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