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Planning a Successful and Effective Medical Staff Retreat

Recurrent medical staff retreats are a key component of an effective physician development program. They constitute a significant investment on the part of the organization. The goal of a well-designed medical staff retreat is to produce informed and activated medical staff members who can partner with administrators in the execution of the organization's quality and cost-effectiveness strateies.

Medical staff retreats require careful planning. Here are some tips on how to create a successful retreat:

  • Create a vision group with a representative mix of physicians and administrators who will lead the planning process
  • Choose a setting away from the clinical venue that will be relaxing and promote undistracted discussion
  • Have multiple planning meetings with the retreat facilitator several months before the retreat date
  • Pick a focus for the retreat that reflects the most important topics that need to be discussed
  • Information can be communicated in many forms - retreats are for those things that are most important and must be experienced and reflected upon together, face to face
  • Don't try to do too much - focus on what is important and what really needs to be discussed
  • Although CME credit is often used as a draw for attendance, retreats should be about relationship and team building, not communication of content
  • Leave them wanting more - effective retreats increase group cohesiveness and create the desire to spend more time effectively working together on organizational goals

There are a variety of topics that might be useful to spark discussion and engagement in your next retreat.