The Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics (COMSEP) is an organization that values — and appreciates the benefits of — teams. COMSEP's best work comes as a result of highly effective teamwork.

A team is more than 1 person working together toward a common goal. Therefore, every physician is on multiple teams, ranging from a small team of himself or herself and a patient and family, to primary care medical home teams, to inpatient care teams with various levels of trainees and different professionals, to clinical and basic science research teams, to hospital boards, university committees, and organized community initiatives. Knowing the key elements of highly effective teams is relevant to every clinician, no matter where he or she practices.

In health care, team communication failures contribute to health care errors. Effective teams decrease length of stay, result in fewer unanticipated admissions, improve coordination of care, decrease wait...

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