Neil H. Baum, MD, presented “Ernest Shackleton and Urologic Practices” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in September 2022.

How to cite: Baum, Neil H. “Ernest Shackleton and Urologic Practices.” September 2022. Accessed Mar 2023.

Ernest Shackleton and Urologic Practices – Summary

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, offers advice to urologic clinicians on leading during uncertain times. Through the lens of adventurer Ernest Shackelton, Dr. Baum illustrates how providing excellent patient care involves responding to new information, maintaining morale, and leading by example. He indicates that in a clinical setting, paper charts and ledger cards instead of electronic records can suggest to patients that the physician also lacks up-to-date clinical knowledge. Dr. Baum then underscores the importance of maintaining office morale, especially when the office is short-staffed, to ensure the patient experience does not suffer. He notes that even small gestures to recognize when staff goes above and beyond can make a significant difference and he encourages clinicians to find creative strategies to maintain office morale. Similarly, a leader set the tone for the rest of the team and should abide by the same expectations. For example, if physicians expect their team to arrive on time, they should lead by example and arrive promptly. Dr. Baum then offers a lesson in hiring based on a combination of character traits and skills over skills alone noting that you can’t teach employees to be nice but you can train them on most tasks needed to be successful in a medical office. He concludes that these strategies can guide physicians through crises like the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding changes within the medical system.

For more commentary on practice management from Dr. Baum, visit his Improving Your Urology Practice page.