Observations On the Contrary

Don’t take me to your leader

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c2675 (Published 19 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2675
  1. Tony Delamothe, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tdelamothe{at}bmj.com

    Medicine has suddenly discovered leadership, just as the rest of the world is moving on

    If mentions of the word “leadership” in the BMJ keep increasing at the current exponential rate, then by 2034 every second journal article will include a reference to the term. Will that be enough?

    Or is our average of three mentions a week already enough? Escaping the term has been virtually impossible since the publication of Ara Darzi’s final report on reforming the NHS, High Quality Care for All (2008). My own employer has played its part, setting up a course with Sweden’s Karolinska Institute on leadership for medical educators. This year a couple of the BMJ Group Awards saluted the “l” word. A keynote address at last month’s International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare provided guidance on “Twenty-first century leadership.” And so on. “The range of courses, fellowships, and other entities linked to leadership in some way is vast,” despaired Douglas Noble in his recent letter to the journal. “What we are going to do with all these leaders in 5-15 years’ time is not clear” (BMJ 2010;340:c914, doi:10.1136/bmj.c914).

    What, …

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