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Leadership development in New Zealand and Australian medical schools: needs analysis
  1. Oscar Lyons1,
  2. Karina McHardy2,
  3. Warwick Bagg3,
  4. Tim Wilkinson4
  1. 1 Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Accident Compensation Corporation, Wellington, New Zealand
  3. 3 School of Medicine, University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Auckland, New Zealand
  4. 4 Department of Medicine, University of Otago Division of Health Sciences, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oscar Lyons, Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; oscar.lyons{at}


Background Leadership is a core competency of doctors. However, specific learning outcomes for leadership are often not well defined in medical school curricula. This article uses New Zealand (NZ) and Australian medical school curricula as a case example for conducting a needs analysis of leadership learning outcomes.

Aims To identify which elements of medical leadership development are already met by Australian Medical Council (AMC) Outcomes for Graduates, which elements are missing, and which missing elements might reasonably be included in prequalification curricula in NZ and Australia.

Methods The Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) was selected as the reference framework for a general needs analysis of leadership development in the AMC curriculum.

To identify curriculum gaps, we first assessed the achievability of MLCF Domains at an undergraduate level. We then considered whether the AMC Outcomes for Graduates would satisfy each MLCF Domain. Where MLCF Domains were judged unachievable at the undergraduate level, we considered whether foundations were sufficiently laid for future development.

Results Five of eight (63%) undergraduate MLCF Domains and 7 of 12 (58%) postgraduate domains were found to be already satisfied by the AMC Outcomes for Graduates.

Some key elements of leadership as described in the MLCF are not yet encapsulated in the AMC Outcomes for Graduates. Two particularly notable absences are audit and quality improvement.

Conclusions Leadership is multidimensional. Some dimensions may be more appropriately learnt after medical school. There are, however, significant gaps in current curricula in Australia and NZ as defined by the AMC. These could be met more effectively using the MLCF.

  • medical leadership
  • curriculum
  • medical student
  • competencies

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  • Contributors OL, KM, WB and TW contributed to the study design. OL, KM, WB and TW independently completed the MLCF contextualisation (phase I). OL, WB and TW completed the mapping (phase II). OL, KM, WB and TW completed the matching (phase III). OL, KM, WB and TW drafted, edited and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding The University of Auckland School of Medicine and the Rhodes Trust funded OL to present this work at the Australia and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference (2018).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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