Building Team Resilience and Debriefing After Difficult Clinical Events: A Resilience Curriculum for Team Leaders

Publication ID Published Volume
10601 July 12, 2017 13

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Introduction: Burnout is prevalent among medical trainees and faculty. Resilience, the ability to cope well with stress and thrive during challenges, has been a focus of initiatives to combat burnout. However, curricula teaching resilience skills are needed. Since residents experience challenging and stressful clinical events often, and would like to discuss these events with their teams, resilience skills may help trainees cope after such events. Additionally, resilience skills may help trainees address other challenges they face as team leaders. Leadership training is an important component of physician professional development. Methods: This advanced resilience training curriculum consists of two interactive workshops that include didactics, skills practice, and reflection. The first workshop focuses on applying resilience skills to team leadership, while the second focuses on structured team debriefing after difficult clinical events. This curriculum is intended for learners who are health care team leaders, such as senior residents, fellows, or faculty. It may be used with learners who have completed introductory resilience training or with those without prior training. Results: The curriculum was rated highly by senior residents, who reported feeling more comfortable leading their teams after difficult clinical events and talking about these events following this curriculum. The majority of residents thought the workshops should be continued. Discussion: This novel curriculum teaches learners to apply resilience skills during team leadership and difficult clinical scenarios. It was well received by senior residents and may be used with a variety of learners across health professions and training levels.


Martinchek M, Bird A, Pincavage AT. Building team resilience and debriefing after difficult clinical events: a resilience curriculum for team leaders.MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2017;13:10601.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this curriculum, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify traits of effective leaders and successful leadership strategies.
  2. Practice responding to challenging leadership scenarios.
  3. Reflect upon their own leadership skills and set goals for improvement.
  4. Identify strategies to manage team expectations and set realistic goals.
  5. Recognize the importance of debriefing after difficult clinical events.
  6. Reflect on individual experiences with difficult clinical events.
  7. Identify healthy and unhealthy coping behaviors, strategies for supporting colleagues, and strategies for disclosure after difficult clinical events.
  8. Practice leading team-based debriefing after difficult clinical events.
  9. Discuss leadership challenges and difficult clinical events with peers and colleagues.


  • Resilience, Psychological Resilience, Medical Errors, Residency Training, Burnout, Professional Burnout, Leadership


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