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4 April 2023
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Celebrating Careers in Clinical Leadership

delegates at the FMLM Alumni Symposium

Since the inception of FMLM’s first Medical Advisors programme, the Clinical Fellow Schemes have grown to encompass 6 programmes across a multitude of clinical disciplines. These programmes second clinicians into leadership roles across the health system, giving invaluable opportunities to develop their skills as leaders and managers. To date, over 600 clinicians have graduated from the Clinical Fellow Schemes and have gone on to lead exciting careers within the NHS and the wider health sector. 

On 27th March FMLM hosted a celebration of these careers in clinical leadership at its inaugural Alumni Symposium at The University of Manchester’s University Place. Attended by delegates from across the United Kingdom, the event gathered current clinical fellows and their predecessors to participate in a shared experience of leadership development. The opportunity to connect in person was widely praised throughout the event. 

“The event was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with fellows from our own cohort but previous ones too and be able to reflect on our journeys since finishing the fellowship. It was great to be able to discuss how to tackle some of the issues facing healthcare with likeminded people to try and make a difference to our workforce and patients.” – Sarah Crawshaw, Pharmacy Foundation Training Lead (South West), CPhO Fellow 2021/2022 

Sir Steve Powis at the FMLM Alumni SymposiumA strong supporter of the CFS initiative, Professor Sir Stephen Powis opened the symposium with a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the health system in recent years and urged delegates to explore innovative and collaborative methods in their efforts to face them. 

The event continued with impressive speakers and workshop hosts from NHS England, the Cynefin Company, and Mid & South Essex Integrated Care Board. In these sessions, delegates explored innovative solutions to ensure that our health services provide the best possible care for the populations they serve. 

“The symposium was inspiring and energising. It brought together both current and former fellows, focused our attention on the vast benefits of the scheme and gave us the space to share ideas and consolidate connections that will no doubt positively influence our leadership trajectories beyond the fellowship.” - Dr Julia Darko – GP Trainee and NHSE NMD Fellow 2022/2023 

Throughout delegates were exposed to the principle that leadership neither depends upon titles or specific clinical backgrounds, but is instead something to be practised at all levels, by all clinicians. Nowhere was this more relevant than in the final panel discussion of the day, where we heard from current and former chairs of the Empowering Student Leadership in Healthcare (ESLiH) committee. In creating an inclusive and multidisciplinary space for healthcare students, ESLiH empowers and supports the development of leadership competencies from the very beginning of one’s healthcare career. Born out of the efforts of CFS Alumnus, Dr Chee Yeen Fung, ESLiH represents just one of the many initiatives and programmes that the clinical fellow programmes have empowered clinicians to create. 

The Alumni Symposium represents an important step in FMLM’s strategy to engage and support their growing network of clinical fellow scheme graduates. The day concluded with Dal Hothi, Director of Leadership Development & Education, calling for the support, ideas, and energy of Alumni to “collectively keep the spirit, the essence of clinical leadership alive, growing stronger”.  FMLM will create a CFS community for co-production and collaboration, to draw upon and utilize the passions, insights and strengths of the 600+ individuals who have already begun to establish themselves as healthcare leaders. Future CFS events will continue to build upon these efforts, as Alumni continue to inspire each other to further improve our health systems across the UK.  

“It was great to connect with current fellows and Alumni. The workshops/speakers stimulated valuable discussion about how we tackle our current healthcare leadership challenges and invest in the future through our student healthcare leaders.” – Dr Emma Tonner, Current ESLIH Chair and NIHR NMD Fellow 2022/2023 


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