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A long and winding road: non-traditional routes into medical leadership

Abstract

Introduction Clinicians enter the medical profession through a variety of routes. This paper explores how non-traditional routes into the medical profession can follow through into subsequent medical leadership practice, influencing issues of confidence, self-image and assumptions about leadership as a concept.

Method The first-person reflections of a doctor who entered the profession and the National Health Service from the German system and with a non-standard background are considered. We then discuss how those involved in leadership education can use diversity as a developmental tool. The article starts and ends with personal reflections and observations from a Consultant Opthalmologist, interposed with insights from the pedagogy of leadership development by a University academic.

Conclusions We conclude that medical leadership development can be enriched through recognising the value that non-traditional routes in clinical leadership can bring, and that educators can use the leverage of difference and diversity to create positive loops of development activity.

  • medical leadership
  • learning loop
  • career development
  • role modeling
  • career path

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