As head of a department, your faculty wants to try a new treatment involving intraocular injection of an experimental drug that has never been done at your centre. How do you address this concern? Introduction of innovation is an important component of high quality care. However, there is often little control over the introduction of … Continue reading Innovation


One of your employees comes to speak to you concerned about one of the staff. The individual in question frequently calls in sick, their mood seems quite labile and today there is concern that they are intoxicated. What do you need to do immediately to respond to this concern, and how do you ensure the … Continue reading Capacity


The head of the intensive care unit comes to see you as head of your department, concerned that one of your staff has a high treatment complication rate. They want you to immediately restrict the staff’s privileges. How do you ensure that the criticisms are correct and what is the appropriate response to the allegations? … Continue reading Competency

Accountability for Group Performance

You are reviewing the performance of the department as a whole. Within your department there are widespread calls for accountability. How do you achieve accountability without disenfranchising your staff? While goodwill and desire drives performance, there must still be accountability for job performance. This may be at an individual or a group level. Accountability requires … Continue reading Accountability for Group Performance

Vision, Mission, Values and Strategic Direction (Planning for a Retreat)

Your clinical group lacks a strategic plan. You are asked by members of your group to allow them to have input into your plans for its future. It occurs to you that one approach to develop, gain feedback, and communicate a shared agenda for change would be to bring people together at a retreat or … Continue reading Vision, Mission, Values and Strategic Direction (Planning for a Retreat)

Laying the Groundwork: Developing an Agenda for Change

You have started as the head of a clinical group. During the selection process, you articulated several important changes, both short- and long-term, needed for the group. However, you realize many of the members in the team see different priorities. How do you bring everyone onto the same page? To be a transformational leader, an … Continue reading Laying the Groundwork: Developing an Agenda for Change


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 … Continue reading Introduction