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What can I do to develop as a leader?

This page is to help trainees wishing to focus on their leadership development. Outlined below – in the things to read section – are links to recommended research articles, publications and books demonstrating the importance of leadership in healthcare, and which outline some key theories. In addition – in the things to do section – you can find suggestions for activities that will support trainees to build skills in management and leadership.

To review the full collection of leadership development opportunities, please see the FMLM 'Leadership Development Hub'.

Things to read

There exists a range of research papers, reports and other documents that provide a useful background to the value of leadership and management within healthcare, and its place within postgraduate education. Some key publications are listed below. A wider selection of recommended reading can be found here.

Research papers and journal articles

    1. West M. Leadership and leadership development in health care: The evidence base. FMLM and the King's Fund.
    2. Veronesi, G., Kirkpatrick, I. and Vallascas, F. (2012) Clinicians In Management: Does It Make A Difference? Leeds University Business School
    3. Goodall, A. (2011) Physician-leaders and hospital performance: is there an association? The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) IZA Discussion Paper ; 5830 (July 2011) Bonn: IZA.


Policy documents, leadership frameworks and education outlines

  1. General Medical Council's Generic professional capabilities framework
  2. NHS Improvement. Developing People – Improving Care. A national framework for action on improvement and leadership development in NHS-funded services
  3. NHS Improvement and NHS England. A Model employer - Increasing black and ethnic minority representation at senior levels across the NHS
  4. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. CanMeds 2015.
  5. NHS Leadership Academy. Healthcare Leadership Model

Things to do

Opportunities for leadership development are easy to come across. They could be found within your postgraduate training, in extra-curricular activities, or as a benefit of FMLM membership. There are also online courses, fellowships, and a host of other activities. The Transition Guide is a good resource - it is a series of transition guides for members moving to new career stages, to share wisdom and practical advice to support them in their career progression.

You can also look at the Healthcare Leadership Model self-assessment tool from the NHS Leadership Academy. This is a free resource that anyone can access and aims to help you understand your own leadership behaviours. The tool produces a short report indicating areas of strength and areas for future development. You can find further information in this FMLM collection on Assessment and diagnostic tools.

Post-graduate curriculum

All post-graduate curriculum will need to meet the requirements of the new GMC's generic professional capabilities framework. This will mean that the skills, behaviours and experience should be integrated into your medical training. 

Through FMLM

FMLM mentoring: Members of FMLM benefit from a bespoke mentoring scheme. We have over 100 mentors from a range of clinical backgrounds, who can give advice on career planning, decision making and leadership development.   

BMJ Leader: BMJ Leader is co-owned by FMLM and the BMJ. This professional journal will have an international reach and gives access to the latest peer-reviewed articles and research reviews relevant to the many disciplines that make up leadership in health services.

FMLM Fellowships: Fellowship recognises those who demonstrate a high-level of leadership competence, consistent with the Leadership and management standards for medical professionals

FMLM Resources: A hub of resources, case studies and guides for development in leadership and management, with signposting to local, national and e-learning development.  

Other programmes, courses and activities

Edward Jenner programme: produced by the NHS Leadership Academy, this online course is free to complete and provides a great introduction to medical leadership and management and self- reflection.

LeAD - Online leadership skills programme in partnership with the Academy of Medical Royal colleges, the leadership academy and FMLM.

Take on a leadership position: practice your skills through leadership positions within committees or societies. You could also become involved in audit or quality improvement projects.  

Local or national training opportunities: Review this FMLM resource of local leadership development opportunities

Proceed to 'How can I get involved in FMLM?' where you can find out how FMLM supports its trainee members to develop as future leaders, and get involved in FMLM’s Trainees Steering Group (TSG). 

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