19th January 2018, Volume 131 Number 1468

Oscar Lyons, Bruce Su’a, Michelle Locke, Andrew Hill

Effective leadership is vital in implementing health improvements at both clinical and system levels. In health, effective leadership involves utilising social influence and advocacy to anticipate and act on health…

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Summary

Leadership is increasingly being recognised as an essential requirement for doctors. Many medical schools are in the process of developing formal leadership training programmes. A wide range of leadership curricula have shown some degree of effectiveness, including short interventions, but few studies have measured effectiveness at the system and patient levels. Further research is needed investigating objective and downstream outcomes, and use of standard frameworks for evaluation will facilitate effective comparison of initiatives.

Abstract

Aim

Leadership is increasingly being recognised as an essential requirement for doctors. Many medical schools are in the process of developing formal leadership training programmes, but it remains to be elucidated what characteristics make such programmes effective, and to what extent current programmes are effective, beyond merely positive learner reactions. This review’s objective was to investigate the effectiveness of undergraduate medical leadership curricula and to explore common features of effective curricula.

Method

A systematic literature search was conducted. Articles describing and evaluating undergraduate medical leadership curricula were included. Outcomes were stratified and analysed according to a modified Kirkpatrick’s model for evaluating educational outcomes.

Results

Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. Leadership curricula evaluated were markedly heterogeneous in their duration and composition. The majority of studies utilised pre- and post- intervention questionnaires for evaluation. Two studies described randomised controlled trials with objective measures. Outcomes were broadly positive. Only one study reported neutral outcomes.

Conclusion

A wide range of leadership curricula have shown subjective effectiveness, including short interventions. There is limited objective evidence however, and few studies have measured effectiveness at the system and patient levels. Further research is needed investigating objective and downstream outcomes, and use of standard frameworks for evaluation will facilitate effective comparison of initiatives.

Author Information

Oscar Lyons, Research Fellow, South Auckland Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland; Doctoral Candidate, The Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford, United Kingdom;
Bruce Su’a, Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate, South Auckland Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland; Michelle Locke, Senior Lecturer in Surgery, South Auckland Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Counties Manukau District Health Board, Auckland; Andrew Hill, Assistant Dean and Head, South Auckland Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, Auckland; Consultant General Surgeon, Counties Manukau District Health Board.

Acknowledgements

Bruce Su’a was supported by a Health Research Council Pacific Clinical Training Fellowship.

Correspondence

Dr Oscar Lyons, South Auckland Clinical Campus, University of Auckland, c/- Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 93311, Otahuhu, Auckland 1640.

Correspondence Email

oscar.lyons@auckland.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

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