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What makes a medical leader?

  • Dinesh Bhugra

Summary

Medical leadership is important and must be a part of training. It requires qualities at three levels: the personal, the interpersonal (working with and through others) and the organisational (in political and cultural contexts). Some of the traits of good leadership can be taught and learnt, whereas others are inherent. The roles of individual leaders depend on the organisations in which they are involved. Different contexts require different leadership styles.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, Institute of Psychiatry (KCL), De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email: d.bhugra@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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See pp. 162–170, this issue.

Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Garg, S, van Niekerk, J, Campbell, M (2011) Medical leadership: competencies in action. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 17: 162170.
NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2010) Medical Leadership Competency Framework: Enhancing Engagement In Medical Leadership (3rd edn). NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (http://www.institute.nhs.uk/images/documents/Medical%20Leadership%20Competency%20Framework%203rd%20ed.pdf).
Nohria, N, Khurana, R (2010) Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice. Harvard Business Press.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2010) A Competency Based Curriculum for Specialist Core Training in Psychiatry: Core Training in Psychiatry CT1—CT3. Royal College of Psychiatrists (http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/CORE%20CURRICULUM%20October%202010.pdf).
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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What makes a medical leader?

  • Dinesh Bhugra
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eLetters

Tomorrow's medical leaders

Rahul Rao, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist
09 June 2011

I have witnessed a veritable tidal wave of change in medical leadership over the past 30 years, in having one of my parents as a psychiatrist and having made up my mind to pursue this career since my early teens.

The changing landscape of medical education and healthcare has meant shedding both coercive and pace-setting leadership styles associated with 'learning by humiliation'. However, by using affiliative and coaching styles , we have lost two others that are central to encouraging more medical students to take up psychiatry and also command the respect of ourpeers in other specialties.

Firstly, expert leadership is essential in having role models who notonly carry with them some considerable knowledge and experience, but also encourage others to 'stand on the shoulders of giants'. Secondly, charismatic leadership is sadly on the wane. Although transparency and equity are essential for the quality assurance of any learning organisation, there is a pressing need to nurture the positive traits of altruism, empathy, enthusiasm and humour in all our future medical leaders.

Psychiatrists, by the nature of their specialty, are powerful communicators and fully deserve to lead the way in medical leadership. Theprofession should expect no less.

REFERENCES:Bhugra D. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2011; 17: 160-161.Goleman D. Harv Bus Review 2000; 78-90.
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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Medical leadership: In the spirit of Hippocratic Oath

Hiranmayi Pantula, Consultant Psychiatrist in Old Age Psychiatrist ( Locum )
03 May 2011

Prof Bungra talks about the proactive role that medical leaders play in moulding the views of stake holders to ensure that medical services are fit for purpose (1).

I would support this and argue that such a role is very much consistent with the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath.It may be interpreted that the Hippocratic oath lays a responsibility to pass on the art of medicine to the next generation of healers (2).We as psychiatrists have a responsibility to ensure that the ethics that have been thecore of medical practice for centuries now become the ethical core of the functional unit ‘the multidisciplinary team’ . In addition we also have the responsibility to take a fair share in amalgamating psychiatry as a medical specialty with other disciplines in order to bring about the best possible outcomes for our patients. Johann Reil’s argument that ‘only the very best doctors should become psychiatrists’ couldn’t be more relevant in these changing times of practicing psychiatry as a medical specialty. In order to fulfill this responsibility medical leaders would need to ensure that they represent themselves fairly when services are being planned and ensure that the professional virtues of the physician asfiduciary of the patient are well represented (3).

References:

1. What makes a medical leader? Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (2011) 17: 160-161. doi: 10.1192/apt.bp.110.008730

2.A guide to the Hippocratic Oath By Dr Daniel Sokol

3. The moral foundation of medical leadership: The professional virtues of the physician as fiduciary of the patient, Presented at the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the American Gynaecological and Obstetrical Society, Williamsburg, Virginia, September 7-9, 2000. Frank A. Chervenak, MD, Laurence B. McCullough, PhD
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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