At every medical school and hospital, clinicians are thrust into leadership positions. While some are natural leaders and others have substantial experience, virtually all struggle with the practical aspects of the role. Clinical care is all about ensuring the highest quality treatment, while providing the best experience for patients and their families. Academic health science centres have additional mandates; promote scholarship that improves patient care and training the next generation of clinicians and researchers. All this activity must occur within the fiscal constraints of the health care system. However, beyond these broad aims, there is the practical reality of how to achieve the goals of clinical leadership.
While there are myriad books on leadership, there is a paucity of how-to guides specifically devoted to clinical leadership, such as how to conduct searches and reviews, deal with disruptive behaviour, or conduct an effective meeting. The posts that follow are intended to partially fill that gap. They are meant to be stand-alone. The material is succinct and prescriptive of one approach to deal with many of the challenges that face clinical leaders. While the context is Canadian and relates to a paediatric hospital, I hope that the content will be useful across multiple clinical situations. Some posts are intended to be philosophical in nature. Others are more technical, providing a ‘how-to’ approach.
My advice is based on more than 15 years of clinical leadership, hardly enough time to make all the possible mistakes. The material will hopefully not be too wide of the mark, and will almost certainly be incomplete. The content will need to be tailored according to the specific context and will no doubt continue to evolve. However, in my upcoming posts I aim to provide a framework to maximize success and minimize missteps for clinical leaders. The intent of this blog is to start a conversation about clinical leadership. Each post will be followed by a comments section where readers can concur, provide alternative views and/or supplement gaps. I am hoping that the conversation will be as (or more) useful than the posts themselves. Thanks for reading and participating.