[Unravelling medical leadership]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2015:159:A9123.
[Article in Dutch]


Medical leadership is a popular topic in the Netherlands, and several interest groups now incorporate medical leadership into postgraduate medical education. However, there is no consensus on what this concept entails. By conducting a discourse analysis, a qualitative method which uses language and text to reveal existing viewpoints, this article reveals three perspectives on medical leadership: administrative leadership, leadership within organisations and leadership within each doctor's daily practice. Text analysis shows that the first two perspectives refer to medical leadership mainly in a defensive manner: by demonstrating medical leadership doctors could 'take the lead' once again; patient care only seems to play a small part in the process. These perspectives are not free of consequences, they will determine how the medical profession is constructed. For this reason, it is argued that there should be more emphasis on the third perspective, in which the quality of care for patients is of primary importance.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care*