By their very design, doctors are leaders.
At a minimum, they are leaders of their patients who come to them seeking better health.
They may also be leaders of other doctors – either within their practice or as part of a wider medical team at a hospital.
Many are also community leaders.
Hence, leadership skills are a significant asset for all doctors.
But it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone.
Making a concerted effort to develop your leadership skills will make you a more accomplished and valuable team member of any medical unit.
Consider investing in yourself by working to improve your leadership skills which will in turn help you build better relationships with your patients as well as potentially advancing your career.
There are many ways to do it.
- Watch closely how successful leaders operate
- Ask your peers as well as those you lead for honest feedback
- Read books about leadership development
- Take an online course
Here are some of the qualities we think the best leaders possess and will help improve your leadership as a doctor.
Leading by example
A good leader needs to be a highly proficient doctor with a wide-ranging knowledge of evidence-based medicine.
But great leaders lead by example showcasing virtues that command the respect of others.
These virtues include:
To be a great leader, you generally need to be a great communicator.
In terms of other doctors, that means giving clear instructions regarding their responsibilities, positive feedback and constructive criticism where appropriate.
It also means inviting feedback yourself and acting on valid concerns expressed to become an even better leader.
In terms of patients, it means communicating clearly and concisely, engaging a patient’s family when necessary.
Great communication helps builds great relationships.
But to go the extra yard, get to know your team members personally.
Take an interest in their lives, find out what motivates them and how they like to spend their down time.
You’ll then be better placed to offer them support when they really need it.
The best leaders encourage and foster collaboration with other medical professionals which is often essential to achieving the best medical outcomes for patients.
They are also not afraid to ask for help or challenge the decisions of others if it is in the best interests of a patient.
They may also explore the organisation of non-clinical activities to help promote leadership, teamwork and professional development.
Great leaders don’t micromanage their staff.
Rather, they give them the resources they need and empower them, putting trust in them to make good decisions.
This in turn encourages those doctors and staff to invest emotionally in the business – you might call it the ‘buy-in’ factor.
It’s the moment when someone is confident and satisfied with their role and believes they are playing their part in a team which is all working toward the same goal.
Very little in healthcare is black and white.
Medicine, techniques and practices evolve and can change rapidly.
Great leaders embrace change and are always looking to stay ahead of the curve, adjusting strategies as required.
The evolution of medicine demands the constant need for re-education.
It is a leader’s responsibility to remain abreast of new opportunities in healthcare on behalf of the clinic.
This could include further education, conferences and workshops.
It’s important to monitor workloads and stress levels of doctors and staff to guard against burnout.
It is equally important to remember to take the time to manage your own stress levels to ensure you can continue to be the most effective leader possible.
That may mean taking enough time away from the practice.
It may also mean setting boundaries with staff so as not to blur the lines between a leader and a work colleague.
Apply now to work at AHA
Here at AHA, we empower and develop leaders not just workers.
Leadership is all about appreciating that no matter who you are, you are leading someone and that an operation or in our case, a medical practice, works most effectively when everyone is working together in harmony.
Whether you are a natural-born leader or a young doctor looking for a clinic that supports your goals, hopes and aspirations in a harmonious team environment, we strongly encourage you to consider AHA Clinics.
Life-changing opportunities are yours for the taking at our two clinics at Seaford and Seaford Meadows.
We are situated in the heart of Adelaide’s southern beaches where you can maximise your income, working the hours you choose, before unwinding enjoying everything the coastal lifestyle has to offer.
Our purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities utilise natural light and make coming to work here a pleasure.
If that sounds attractive, we’d love to hear from you.
Our team is on hand, ready to answer all of your questions.
But don’t take our word for it!
We can put you in touch with some of our resident doctors for a more personal perspective of what it’s like to work here at AHA.
Our AHA leadership team will contact you soon to arrange an interview.