Mind & body, Research

How Berkeley-Haas helped a surgeon do his job better

By Carol Ness

Wolfgang Stehr
Wolfgang Stehr

Wolfgang Stehr, the chief of pediatric surgery at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, operates on about 20 children a week, from one-pound premature babies to 200-pound teenage gunshot victims.

When things break down in the operating room, egos may reign, tempers may flare, and miscommunication over logistics such as scheduling may lead to resentments, according to Kim Girard’s article on the Berkeley-Haas news site.

Stehr resolved to make things better — for himself, as a leader, for his team and ultimately for their patients. He enrolled in the executive MBA program at the Haas School of Business. So inspired was he by what he learned in a Leadership Communication course that he drew his colleagues into the program. A total of 25 hospital doctors, nurses, and staff kicked off a three-day workshop, run by the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute .

The program had a profound effect on communication among team members and resulted in better decisions around patient care, according to the hospital’s trauma director.

Read Kim Girard's story on the Berkeley-Haas website