News Articles

How to structure your ward round for maximum efficiency

In our latest blog, “The things all Doctors need to know about Ward Rounds”, we discussed the role of the ward round in the daily job of the junior doctor with potential issues and suggested solutions by applying medical leadership skills. Trainees might experience ward rounds as service orientated with little time for teaching. However, they are important in developing skills in patient management, requesting appropriate and timely investigations and skilful physical examinations. The quality of teaching and learning is of course impacted by high volumes of workload [4]. The focus in this article is on how a deviation from the traditional ward round structure might benefit the learning opportunities for junior doctors.  We will cover: The common issues encountered during ward rounds 7 suggestions on how to structure your ward round Trainees might experience ward rounds as service orientated with little time for teaching. However, they are important in developing skills in patient management, requesting appropriate and timely investigations and physical examinations. The quality of teaching and learning is of course impacted by high volumes of workload [4].  The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) conducted a survey in 2017, consisting of 400 respondents which highlighted that 71% […]
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The Things All Doctors Need to Know About Ward Rounds

After qualifying as a doctor, you soon begin to understand the central role a ward round carries within your day. This is of course assuming that there are no emergencies requiring your immediate attention. As monotonous and time consuming as they may be, ward rounds are integral to managing inpatients, are central to hospital care and have been part of our job for over a century.  What happens during a ward round? During a ward round the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plans for each patient take place and they also serve as a method by which medical trainees and junior doctors areeducated. In practice, from my own experience as a junior doctor, ward rounds consist of; a group of healthcare professionals huddled around the patient’s bedspace with the junior doctor juggling patient notes and blood results, taking notes, presenting the patient and management to date, carrying out clinical examinations and completing radiology request forms. Unfortunately, the opportunity to learn from senior team members is often lost in the pursuit of a smooth ward round. Immediately after a ward round the consultants and senior registrars return to clinic, theatres and medical take in A&E and therefore further learning opportunities are lost.  […]
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How to Break Bad News

Do you worry about having to break bad news to patients and their families? As healthcare professionals breaking bad news is part of our role.  “Regardless of which specialty you’re in, knowing how to break bad news is a very important skill to develop and falls under the wider skill of communication. Whatever field you’re in being a good communicator with your patients and their relatives is important.” Generation Leader founder and Intensive Care Doctor, Hanieh Asadi, interviewed Consultant Intensivist, Dr Adrian Steele, to gain his insights and tips in tacking this discipline . Understanding how to tackle real life challenges by learning from current senior practitioners is key, as is the sharing of collective intelligence so we hope you find this article valuable. The full masterclass is available on the Medical Leader Programme. Question 1- How important is it for healthcare professionals to know how to break bad news? “ Depending on your discipline it’s fundamental.”  It’s something that matters an awful lot to families. The importance of knowing how to break bad news becomes more important as you get older, partly because other duties become more routine and partly because you’ve probably been in the situation where you’ve […]
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Leading Teams for Effective Performance

Do you aspire to be a team leader or are currently leading a team?  Generation Leader founder and Intensive Care Doctor, Hanieh Asadi, interviewed renowned Consultant Neurosurgeon, Mr Kevin O’Neill, around the topic of leading teams for effective performance within the clinical setting. Understanding how to tackle real life challenges by learning from current senior practitioners is key, as is the sharing of collective intelligence, so we hope you find this article valuable. The full masterclass is available on the Medical Leader Programme. Question 1: What does effective team performance mean to you? “As a neurosurgeon performance is pertinent, both as an individual and particularly on a team level.” In order to answer this we have to understand what the team’s objectives are and what we are trying to achieve. Once this has been determined an objective outcome measure can be devised.  “The core objective is patient centred. I always start with the patient pathway which then allows me to design an exemplar pathway based on what we can give the patient at that time. From this you can then determine what you need in terms of people and the different skillsets required,” says Mr O’Neill. “Very often the key […]
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Why Should Junior Doctors Learn How to Be a Leader?

In Medical School the emphasis is on acquiring theoretical knowledge and developing clinical skills. It turns out however, that we are not taught one of the most important skills to succeed in our industry – management and leadership skills. During our undergraduate training in medical school, we are being taught how to tackle medical emergencies and practical procedures in order to prepare us for our first hospital placements as doctors. Quickly we start understanding the amount of responsibility and the number of teams we are involved in and interact with on a daily basis. Not having any prior experience in leading teams, we fall back on the only way we know how to lead – giving orders and expecting our team and patients to comply. This method will shift the majority of the responsibilities of patient care on us but most importantly we will fall short in coping mechanisms during those times that this model fails. It is not surprising that skills such as; knowing how to communicate with patients, relatives and colleagues, prioritising our jobs, ensuring patient safety through innovation, leading our own teams effectively and delegating are essential and if remain unrecognised, will lead to physician burnout and […]
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What are the qualities of an effective Medical Leader?

We are increasingly realising that being a physician is to lead. Early in our careers we are managing and directing teams and it is not until later with seniority in the job that the span of leadership becomes more prevalent. Not only are we regarded as senior physicians and decision makers, but our job titles also carry a certain responsibility when it comes to directing teams and being mentors to younger professionals. More importantly, there is evidence proving that leadership and management skills positively influence the patient and healthcare organisational outcomes. The essential nature of possessing medical leadership skills has further been underlined by the General Medical Council (GMC) and UK Medical Royal Colleges, acknowledging this is a core competency. It is clear that the majority of doctors have leadership responsibilities throughout their career, however this is not taught nor addressed in the undergraduate and postgraduate training in a meaningful way. Some healthcare professionals are promoted to leadership positions due to their clinical expertise without possessing management competencies. However, being an effective leader requires one to start developing these skills at an early stage during training.  The pandemic has meant that leaders were facing challenges of a different nature to […]
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Why Medical Leadership Training is Crucial in the Clinical Setting

As evidenced by the pandemic, medical leadership has never been more important. Successful healthcare organisations are defined by their highly qualified leaders who have the knowledge and understanding of applying different leadership styles to support patient care, in order to get the best outcomes. Effective leadership in healthcare settings influences the organisational performance, patient care and finances. Hospitals which identify and address this deliver higher quality care and have better clinical outcomes with lower mortality. Doctors are considered as natural leaders due to the position they hold within clinical teams and therefore accountability for patient care and welfare, whilst the more overarching and organisational leadership roles are for the managers. This has encouraged the culture of “us” and “them” with physicians focusing on patient care and managers focusing on business performance. The potential risk with this model is developing a culture in healthcare organisations that is centred around targets and finances rather than quality and safety. Interestingly, hospitals with higher quality care are those that have a larger proportion of medically qualified managers.  Medical leadership and management is defined as the engagement of doctors in the matters concerning individual patient care, the day to day workings within a department and the […]
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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Healthcare Leadership

The media has repeatedly reminded us of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers. Challenges have been; fear of personal safety due to lack of supplies, managing an unprecedented surge in patient volume, redeployment to unfamiliar departments and working in new teams. However, there has not been much mention on how this pandemic has influenced medical leadership and its effects on leadership in the future. The pandemic has emphasised weaknesses within hospitals, such as safety and communication errors which have increased significantly since the start of this health crisis.  Certain components have been identified that can transform a healthcare organisation. In order to eliminate medical errors there must be alignment across these following components: 1 – Culture of safety Going forward, leaders have to possess the necessary skills to create a shift in the organisational thinking. The working environment has to focus on respect and transparency. Team members must be able to easily identify unsafe conditions and feel confident enough to report them.  2 – Holistic, continuous improvement process Healthcare leaders should assess the risks and inefficiencies in a healthcare organisation as a whole, so that priorities can be made to address areas that need more urgent attention. […]
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My Covid-19 Experience as an Intensive Care Doctor

The global disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the effects of the increasing demand on healthcare systems as well as highlighting both abilities and areas requiring additional coordination and development...
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