Presented by: Robert Hasty, D.O.
Associate Dean for Postgraduate Affairs at Campbell University
Written by: Amarpreet Everest, Touro-Ca
Whether or not we aspire to be, we will be leaders one day as physicians. We will be tasked with guiding our patients through their health. We will work with other health professionals, secretaries, hospital administration, insurance companies, and more to provide the best care possible. To make greater changes, we must assume leadership roles. It is up to us to shape our field.
Dr. Robert Hasty D.O. gave an excellent presentation about leadership and why it is important to our students. A study in the Iza Discussion Paper found a “strong positive association between the ranked quality of a hospital and whether the CEO is a physician (p<0.001).” Doctors make great leaders because we can keep our patients’ lives in perspective when making administrative decisions. We are not removed from the patients, rather we can make decisions based on all the factors.
Not everyone will be hospital CEOs, however, but we can all find ways to lead. The osteopathic profession stresses serving those in need, so organizing food drives and promoting mental for example are excellent ways to lead and affect change. As Dr. Hasty said, we must practice “servant leadership.” We work to serve our patients, communities, and humanity. To be a great leader we need to listen to what problems people face and make them our problems, striving to correct them. Change and leadership starts at grassroots so it is important to engage those around us and work to build our community. If we are posting informative news articles to Facebook and getting no response, we are not being effective leaders. As leaders we need to show people why our information is important and how we can work together to affect change. Thus by engaging with our community and working to make it stronger, we can be effective leaders.
As of January 2015, if you google “great leaders,” you will find presidents, civil rights leaders, businessmen, and the occasional actor. Physicians are conspicuously missing from the list, and that is within our power to change. Join leadership at your schools, create projects in the community, get involved. We are all responsible to be the best doctors possible and leadership allows us to make a larger impact.