Moving Us Closer To Osler
A Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence Initiative

The power of teamwork


Our multidisciplinary team collaborates to deliver excellent patient care. Shared problem-solving from diverse perspectives is critical when facing complex issues. 

Spring is a time for taking stock of the almost completed academic year. Non-academic clinical settings also share this cycle with the influx of new graduates and the shuffle of more experienced clinicians to new horizons.  


As a run up to this “changing of the guard,” I’ve had the opportunity to attend multiple lectures on leadership and hear the litany of attributes of great leaders. Some of these include vision, problem solving, decision making, delegation, and navigating difficult situations.  


Perhaps it is time to focus on the attributes of great team members. Everyone wants to work with those who are knowledgeable, cheerful, skillful, selfless, industrious, appreciative, kind, passionate, optimistic, and collaborative.   


The multidisciplinary team that I work with cares for adult and pediatric spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients receiving nusinersen, an injection used to treat SMA. We tailor treatment plans based on individual needs. One 9-year-old patient’s mother preferred avoiding anesthesia for lumbar punctures. We collaborated to desensitize her over several sessions, achieving successful in-clinic injections without anesthesia.   


Here are a few things that I reflected on after that encounter:  


1. Shared problem-solving.  

Complex issues require diverse perspectives.  


2. Individual impact.  

Every team member contributes unique expertise.  


3. Patient trust.  

 Effective teamwork fosters trust and positive outcomes.  


Teamwork, not just individual leadership, is the foundation of exceptional patient care. And all team members share in the pride and joy of helping patients achieve their goals.  









This piece expresses the views solely of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of any organization, including Johns Hopkins Medicine.