Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Leadership in healthcare: a bibliometric analysis of 100 most influential publications
  1. Nizar Bhulani1,
  2. Timothy L Miao2,
  3. Alexander Norbash3,
  4. Mauricio Castillo4,
  5. Faisal Khosa5
  1. 1Medical Oncology, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Radiology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
  4. 4Radiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Faisal Khosa, Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; fkhosa{at}


Aim We analysed the 100 most influential articles on leadership in healthcare via a bibliometric analysis to better understand categories and topics in leadership science and their relationship to healthcare. Leadership in healthcare is ever evolving and needs to be robust like any another profession.

Methods A bibliometric analysis was performed. Articles were ranked by citation counts and three independent reviewers screened the abstracts for inclusion. Common themes were categorised.

Results Citations for articles ranged from 53 to 487 and were published across 50 journals. Articles focused primarily on three leadership subjects: team building, quality improvement and healthcare delivery. Of healthcare provider groups, articles were directed to or concerning primarily: nursing, academic medicine and critical care medicine.

Conclusions We identified gaps in healthcare leadership development literature. There is an opportunity to effectively identify areas of interest and demand for organised leadership education and training.

  • medical leadership
  • career development
  • clinical leadership
  • mentoring

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • NB and TLM are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @nizarbhulani, @khosafaisal

  • Contributors Planning of study: NB, TM, MC and FK. Reporting of work: NB and TM. Critical review of work: AN, MC and FK. Final review and edits: FK, NB and AN.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.