Abstract

Medical leadership and leadership education have recently emerged as subjects of an expanding though as yet uncritical literature. Considerable attention is being given to the development of courses and electives, together with some proposals for generalizing these offerings to all medical students and doctors. This article briefly sketches this development and its derivation from business and corporate leadership models and accompanying literature, and subjects its adoption by medicine to critical scrutiny. Putative motivations for these developments are discussed, and an alternative explanation is offered, tied to the loss of physician status. The nature of leadership as complex, emergent, and unpredictable has been ignored in the promotion of medical leadership and leadership training, and this is reflected in the false assumption that leadership in medicine is something that can be taught. Although the leadership literature is beginning to recognize these complex aspects of leadership, so far their implications have not been acknowledged. This article aims to stimulate further analytic discussion of this under-theorized aspect of medicine.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 387-406
Launched on MUSE
2013-12-27
Open Access
No
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