Volume 6 Number 1 In This Issue


EDITORIAL:  Influence: leadership starts with “self” language

Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

Although leadership is often defined as “the capacity to influence others,”1 we cannot forget that our inner voice influences the self. That inner voice uses the same language as our external voice uses to influence others. Does a specialized language for leadership exist? How can the language of our inner voice influence us when we interact with the world as leaders? Although most articles in this issue deal with influencing others, this editorial addresses how the language of our inner voice and our mindset influence our approach to the world and offers reflections on how we can make this work better for us as leaders.

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Patient satisfaction: there is more work to be done

Nahid Azad, MD

Our health care system is under continuous pressure to improve patient satisfaction. Quality methodology is a proven way to focus on patient satisfaction, but it requires cultural change to lead process change. A direct focus on patient experience and satisfaction will drive systemic change throughout the hospital. Multi-level leadership, from front-line clinician to senior executive, is key to successful cultural change for improving my patient satisfaction metrics. Front-line quality initiatives need more support to maximize their impact.

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OPINION: Thriving health care demands thriving physician leadership

Steve Foran, PEng

The presence of exponential change and the absence of thriving physician leadership create the perfect storm that could leave the health care system vulnerable to disruption and possibly make the system, as we know it, irrelevant. On the other hand, thriving physician leadership has the potential to be the catalyst to drive internal change and create a thriving health care system of the future, one that Canadians will continue to rely on as they have for generations. Thriving physician leadership, while difficult to achieve, is extremely simple and is best developed by building a more grateful frame of mind. read article

PERSPECTIVE: Will barbers regain their role as medical practitioners?

Milton Packer, MD

Until recent history, people did not seek the expertise of a physician in the hope of a cure. Doctors primarily provided comfort by the compassionate communication of a diagnosis, often accompanied by the symbolic prescription of herbs and salves. The physician acted as a supportive guide to the unfolding of a natural course of events. This approach is embodied in one of Hippocrates’ pronouncements, “Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.”

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Coaching competencies for physicians

Nancy M. Merrow, MD

In this article, I am proposing that physicians and medical leaders draw on the growing knowledge base within the profession of coaching and use related competencies to broaden their skills in encounters when change is being contemplated. The ability to advance those conversations to goal-setting and being held accountable and empower the individual to draw on their own resources in problem-solving is a widely applicable skill set in medical practice, teaching, and leadership. read article

Engagement: it’s all about the how of implementation

P. James A. Ruiter, MD

Implementation of initiatives is a challenge — change always is. But understanding the current context, in both engagement and safety, reveals some important insights into an approach for successful implementation of patient safety initiatives. In this third and final article of a series, I present a way forward, based on work with over 300 health care teams using the moreOB program approach.  read article

Using attachment theory to understand and support health care workers under stress

Jonathan Hunter, MD, and

Robert Maunder, MD

Attachment theory aids our understanding of fundamental aspects of interpersonal relationships and stress response. As such, it can add to our understanding and support of health care workers in stressful circumstances. This paper introduces attachment theory and summarizes the current evidence that relates attachment to aspects of employment– specifically absenteeism, burnout, and leadership. Suggestions are also made for using attachment principles in management.

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BOOK REVIEW:  Cracking Complexity The Breakthrough Formula for Solving Just About Anything Fast

David Benjamin and David Komlos

Nicholas Brealey Publishing, Boston, 2019

Reviewed by Laura Calhoun, MD

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BOOK REVIEW: dare to lead

Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

Brené Brown

Random House, 2018


Reviewed by Denis Fortier, MD

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