Leadership is increasingly recognized as an essential skill for doctors at all levels and all grades. Leadership qualities aren’t restricted to a Medical Director or consultant. It is more about improving medical care that every doctor provides. Every doctor has a role as a leader with the responsibility of managing him/her self in the best possible way to provide optimum care. For the most part providing personal leadership is how doctors work with and motivate others, identify opportunities and changes that to raise the level of care. This involves developing practical skills such as time management, team working skills, effective presentation, and the ability to implement projects and plans for development.
The requirements for medical leadership
Without exceptional medical leadership, health care systems are not likely to be able to deliver high performance. This is because crucial opportunities to enhance productivity are found in variations in clinical practice such as the use of diagnostic tests, prescribing, and lengths of stay. Clinical teams need to be responsible for conducting reviews of the use of resources so that they can improve the quality of care and reduce costs. Resources can be wasted whenever the quality of care is compromised. Leadership skills can be developed with practice, coaching, experience, and leadership training. It also involves focuses on the teaching, research and administrative aspects of medicine. What is also essential is an emphasis on action learning principles and a balance of theory, practice and skills.
Collaborative leadership amongst physicians
A collaborative approach where physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and everyone else in the healthcare industry must all work together is the best way to improve care. The focus needs to be on working with the patient and for the patient. This inclusive style of leadership without the use of position or power but influence has been promoted by Dr. Rowan Molnar, Senior Specialist Anaesthetist with extensive clinical experience in anaesthesia at a tertiary referral hospital level, both in Australia and internationally. Currently on the surgical support team of the Australian Government and educator at external organizations, Dr. Rowan Molnar believes that the medical community must develop and sustain a collective force referred to as connected leadership.
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