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Why Case Clinics are Critical for Underwriting Training

Thu, 12 May 2016 10:50:15 +0000 / by Mervyn Gillson


Underwriting training and advanced underwriting education can come in many forms, but what better way to learn than to share knowledge in the form of discussions with peers? This is a tried and tested method for our underwriting team, and we call them Case Clinics! They can take the form of a discussion around either specific cases or generalities, and each will work.

The main goal is to share thoughts and experiences on cases or impairments and generate discussion from different perspectives. During the process, note-taking is encouraged so that at the end of the day you have a useful resource your underwriters can use to recall for future cases. A full circle experience that benefits all parties involved during and after its complete. Wondering how you can introduce Case Clinics to your team of underwriting? Get my advice below!

Let me start off by emphasizing the benefits of investing time in carrying out case clinics for your team:

9 Ways Case Clinics Will Benefit Your Team

  • Sharing of experiences and knowledge across different levels of underwriters
  • Enhancing collaboration between team members
  • Knowledge growth by researching a variety of topics
  • Everyone getting a chance to see details of an impairment that may not be that common
  • Consistency of the knowledge across your team
  • Improvement of public speaking, communication, leadership and presentation skills
  • Making and defending decisions skills
  • Affording underwriters time to be more analytical of their information
  • Promotes group problem solving and hypothesize multiple solutions

Now that you’re convinced of how useful they can be (I hope!), you are ready to build your first successful and resourceful Case Clinic. Here are the steps to follow.  

First Step: Who to involve

Regardless of the level of experience of underwriters on your team, everyone can further their professional skills (heck, we even include our claims experts!). For experienced underwriters, the goal is to pass on knowledge founded on years of seeing all kinds of different scenarios, while lesser experienced underwriters can research a particular unusual impairment and present the findings to the group along with the details of the specific case that triggered this discussion. Underwriters who attend industry conferences such as the annual AHOU conference or seminars can bring back what they have learned to the rest of the team.

Case clinics are a total win-win because everyone can benefit from continued education, no matter their level of experience!

Next Step: Setting Up Your Own Case Clinics!

You know who to involve so now you are ready for set up. But how do you ensure you are getting the most benefit and value from conducting this exercise? Well first and foremost, know that it’s not a one-time occasion. To truly reap the rewards, these case clinics should take place on an ongoing basis. With that in mind you can follow the next steps for success.

10 Ways to Successfully Implement Case Clinics:

  • Set calendar dates for your team and stick to them;
  • Ensure there is a regular occurrence of case clinics with a variety of topics and speakers;
  • Ensure there is participation by all attendees;
  • Each member should take a turn to lead the clinic;
  • The topic to be covered can be a real life situation or fictional;
  • Advise your team of the topic being discussed ahead of the clinic so that attendees can bring questions;
  • The underwriter leading the clinic should present the topic and the case(s) to be discussed;
  • Allow sufficient time in clinic for discussion among members;
  • The leader of the clinic should have researched well beforehand but should allow others to present their thoughts and opinions;
  • Encourage note taking of results of discussion throughout in a central shared location as a future resource.

Training and knowledge growth is an ongoing necessity, (and should be) for any life underwriting career to blossom and prosper. This is also why the last point, on note taking is particularly important. By conducting case clinics on ongoing basis you will eventually have a library of resources for current and new underwriters to access in their daily work. The knowledge shared in one session can be used again in the future and can also trigger further discussion and ideas when new team members are brought on board.

Final Step: Determining the topics.

You are ready to introduce case clinics to your team BUT where to start with topics?! Not to worry, we have you covered. Try starting out with our Blood Profile or Financial Underwriting Modules for your first case clinic. From there you can find inspiration from our full suite of underwriting modules that span a variety of topics both medical and non-medical. Regardless of the experience levels on your team, our modules have been designed to help learners at all levels. So whether they are entry, junior, intermediate or senior- everyone will benefit from the topics of discussion.

Case clinics are great, and now you have the full scoop on setting one up. But how else can you get your underwriters up to par and at the level you need them to be? Find out in this eBook!

DOWNLOAD THIS: eGuide on Cultivating a Winning Team of Underwriters!

how to cultivate a winning team of underwriters

Topics: Underwriting, E-Learning / Training

Mervyn Gillson

Written by Mervyn Gillson

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