A case study to describe and evaluate the experiences of a final year medical student undertaking an eight-week management and leadership placement

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Introduction: The Medical Leadership Competency Framework (MLCF) and the General Medical Council's (GMC) Leadership and Management For All Doctors guidance describe the leadership competences doctors need in order to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of health services. It is therefore important that medical students are aware of these requirements as part of undergraduate training and start to acquire these competencies early in their careers.

Aims: To provide an account of an eight-week undergraduate placement within medical leadership and management and to propose this as a viable and valuable alternative or supplement to current teaching practices.

Case study: The first author undertook an eight-week placement designed to provide intensive management and leadership learning opportunities. The author was able to observe the application of lean methodology by service improvement teams and attend a variety of committees dealing with aspects of clinical governance, clinical effectiveness, quality assurance and service provision.

Discussion: It was felt by the author that this intensive experience supplemented learning provided within the current undergraduate curriculum and is therefore an option that is likely to better prepare medical graduates for the development of management and leadership competencies within postgraduate training. The author did, however, appreciate that there may be major obstacles to providing this type of placement to all medical students.

Conclusion: The provision of optional student-selected placements would allow undergraduate medical courses to pilot and better evaluate intensive placements within medical management.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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