Clinical leadership development requires system-wide interventions, not just courses

Clin Teach. 2012 Apr;9(2):89-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00530.x.


Background: This is the third article in a series on clinical leadership and medical education. In the first two articles in this series we looked at the nature of leadership and examined professional outcomes, standards and competency frameworks from around the world that describe what it is we are trying to instil in medical students and doctors in postgraduate training. In this article we explore current trends in leadership development and describe broad approaches to clinical leadership development, highlighting those strategies that are likely to be more (or less) successful.

Methods: Narrative review and discussion.

Results: Key trends and principles for best practice in leadership development are identified. Recommendations for the design of leadership development programmes are made alongside suggestions for system-wide interventions.

Discussion: Leadership development should be both drawn from and embedded in work-based activities, and as far as possible linked to the development of the organisation as a whole. Intervening at the level of the individual may not be enough. System-wide interventions are required that actively engage students and trainees in the practices of management and leadership, and involve them early.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Staff Development / methods
  • Staff Development / organization & administration*
  • Staff Development / trends