When I think of a leader, the people that immediately come to mind are usually famous politicians or activists. These people are in the limelight that inspire change by speaking out or making tough decisions. However, this is only one type of leadership. There are several different styles of leadership that work best in certain environments and incorporate different aspects of an individual’s personality; there is leadership by example, motivation, fear, servitude, presence, etc. No one style is correct, but there is certainly a style that best fits each person.
Leadership is a skill that is integral to medicine; it is a basic requirement for almost any specialty or practice. Strangely enough, it is something that we are expected to just be magically proficient in. For example, we almost blindly rely on an attending to make final judgments – and rightfully so. Nevertheless, we will all be in their shoes one day.
When are we taught how to be a good leader? When do we develop a style of leadership that works best for ourselves? It is blatantly obvious when you have an attending that is a good leader vs bad one – the effects on team dynamic and patient care are readily apparent. Much of the skills we need will certainly be picked up along our education journey. But, this does seem to be an area where more emphasis could be placed, and more direct training would be beneficial.