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As a former National Medical Director’s clinical fellow and demitting chair of the FMLM Trainee Steering Group (TSG), I am sure I am meant to know the answer to the question in the title.  In defining leadership, it is inevitable that more questions ensue.  Are leadership and management the same thing? Can you teach it or is it an intrinsic quality?

The junior doctor years are a vital juncture in the professional and personal development of any clinician.  These years determine who these individuals will be, as professionals, consultants, general practitioners and future healthcare leaders.

For the past year, I have been a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow. It has been without doubt one of the most extraordinary years of my life.

The junior contract rally on 16 October marked an unprecedented time in the history of the National Health Service. Tens of thousands of junior doctors protested against changes to contracts which could result in compromised patient care. It was wonderful to witness the unity and passion of a profession unwilling to cower to the threat of imposition.

A great deal has been written about the junior doctor contracts in the last few months. The heart of the matter, though, can be simplified to ‘safe patients, safe doctors’. The proposed contract seeks to remove the current safeguards protecting doctors from working dangerously long hours.

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