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11 June 2021
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Reflections on the FMLM Student Leadership Elective

By Harjeevan Singh Kang

Third year medical student at the University of Birmingham Medical School, who has intercalated in Health Management and Leadership

My six-week placement on the FMLM Medical Student Leadership Scheme has been enlightening, supportive and instructive. The scheme offered a variety of opportunities, including the ability to attend internal and external stakeholder meetings; join sessions with national clinical fellows; engage with a formal leadership development programme; receive mentoring from Dr Paul Evans, FMLM Medical Director; and lead on a range of projects.

The internal team meetings provided a useful insight into the future vision and direction of FMLM. It was valuable to see the team dynamics and how individuals responded to changes in plans and situations, such as managing the considerable clinical fellow scheme recruitment workload.

Sitting-in on the external stakeholder meetings in large healthcare organisations (trusts, an ICS, etc) has not only provided an insight into the structure and associated complexity of these bodies, but also highlighted the determination of leaders to embed leadership development in training for all levels of seniority. I became more aware of the value being placed on leadership development, not just for doctors, but for other healthcare professionals too. It has been interesting to see this wider aspect of FMLM’s work and the way it relates to affiliated membership.

Such meetings were well-placed for enabling me to see leadership ‘in action’ and, in my case, apply the learning from my intercalation. Attending sessions with the clinical fellows and completing a dedicated programme of specific leadership development sessions, served to foster further engagement between theory and practice.

In addition, the weekly mentoring sessions with Dr Paul Evans were beneficial in facilitating reflection, and contextualising issues, by way of reference to the FMLM Leadership and Management Standards for Medical Professionals – with a particular focus on the elements of ‘self’ and ‘team’. I appreciated the opportunity to receive advice on future steps I could take for my leadership development, including the suggestion of engaging a clinical fellow as an additional mentor (mentoring is available to all FMLM members) to help guide my own progression.

Finally, I am grateful to have been able to offer input and feedback throughout the six weeks, from marketing strategies (with the use of a representative structure, for example), to leadership development courses being run with FMLM’s professional associates, as well as production meetings on FMLM Navigator, a career mapping tool. It was also great to be able to pitch, and subsequently develop and host, a medical leadership and entrepreneurship podcast.

These opportunities to get involved with the work of the FMLM, and undertake some of the work myself, have accelerated my growing understanding of leadership and leadership development.

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