Volume 8 no 2

Steps to developing leadership talent

Volume 8 Number 2 In This Issue


EDITORIAL: The Staircase of Leadership

Sharron Spicer, MD, FRCPC, CCPE

We should all be grateful that medical leadership training has matured over the past decades. Gone — hopefully — are the days when physicians rose through clinical ranks to take on leadership roles without being selected for or trained in leadership skills. Many physician leaders of the not-so-distant past can recount early experiences when they were reluctantly or unexpectedly placed into leadership roles with inadequate training, scant orientation, unclear expectations, and lack of performance feedback. For many, it was leadership by intuition; worse, it sometimes made for leadership by (poor) example. read article

Physician-led quality improvement: a blueprint for building capacity

Pamela Mathura, MBA, Sandra Marini, MAL, Karen Spalding, RN, PhD, Lenora Duhn, RN, PhD, Natalie McMurtry, MBA, and Narmin Kassam, MD

Physicians have a vital role to play in health system transformation, and their committed involvement provides an opportunity for comprehensive improvement and change. Health care has been shifting to a team-based, integrated, and collaborative approach, with a greater expectation for physicians to engage and lead quality improvement (QI). However, there are many barriers to physician QI capability, participation, and leadership.  read article

ADVICE: Managing physician conflict

 Malcolm Ogborn, MBBS

Conflict is an intrinsic part of human experience. This article explores the distinction between cognitive disagreement and the emotional experience of conflict. It discusses the sensitivity of physicians to the perception of shame and the impact that shame can have on conflict behaviour. It offers a framework for conversations to navigate conflict and a number of simple strategies physician leaders may employ to work through conflict themselves and within their teams. Although some conflicts require the help of a skilled specialist, most can be facilitated with thoughtful and courageous leadership. read article

We have a great idea, now what? Using the Canadian Healthcare Lean Canvas for implementing innovation

Mamta Gautam, MD, MBA, and Scott Comber, PhD, MBA

The Canadian Healthcare Lean Canvas has successfully provided a manageable and actionable innovation framework with which to capture the key aspects of proposed health care innovation projects as used by participants in a physician leadership development program to address large-scale complex issues in health care. read article

ADVICE: The sweet space of executive coaching: when leadership gets messy

Debrah Wirtzfeld, MD, CEC

The basis of successful leadership rests in leading and developing your people, not in maintaining the status quo. In transition to a new leadership role, medical leaders will often try to mend historical conflicts and build new and trusting relationships. However, about six months in, old patterns begin to surface and the messiness of leadership rears its ugly head. Leaders must recognize that this is where their leadership begins — with growing their people and leading their teams through the inevitable messiness of leadership. To meet this challenge, leaders must understand the reason they have come to leadership. read article

INTERVIEW: Physicians as advocates

This article has been adapted from an interview in the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders’ Leading the Way podcast series.* In this episode, aired on 1 Sept. 2021, Dr. Johny van Aerde (executive medical director of CSPL) spoke with Dr. Bolu Ogunyemi. read interview


BOOK REVIEW Ducks in a Row: Health Care Reimagined

Sue Robins

Bird Communications; 2022

Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

The ugly duckling of the health care system is the lack of relationship-centred care. In Ducks in a Row: Health Care Reimagined, Sue Robins masterfully exposes the mental models and assumptions in our health care system, demonstrates the need to create safe spaces, and shares how to hold truly engaging conversations among staff, patients, and families in the planning of care.   read review


BOOK REVIEW The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

Michael Lewis

W.W. Norton & Co., 2021

Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

The Premonition by Michael Lewis has all the makings of a good thriller: a small group of rogue superheroes — scientists and doctors — who have never worked together join forces to fight a supervillain, the malevolent force of institutional rigidity and arrogance. Tragically, this book is not a novel. Instead, in this non-fiction account, Lewis portrays the American government and public health systems as incredibly vast and insufficiently centralized, with “no one driving the bus.” In fact, Lewis asserts, information about COVID-19 was known and ignored, and evidence about what public measures should have been taken while awaiting the arrival of a vaccine existed well before April 2020. In this account of COVID-19, institutional malaise contributed to the spread of the pandemic.

 read review