BMA backs leadership skills for GPs-to-be

GPs of the future could be taught leadership and management skills as part of their medical training after a motion on careers development was carried at the BMA's Annual Representatives' Meeting (ARM).

Doctors voted at their meeting in Edinburgh yesterday that education at medical school should include healthcare management and how and where this can change systems.

They also called for an opportunity in foundation training to work with healthcare management.

Helen Grote, of the BMA’s medical students’ committee, who proposed the motion, said all doctors needed such training for their jobs.

GPs ran practices and had to negotiate with policy makers while hospital doctors led ward rounds and held teaching sessions, she said.

‘These are all examples of management and leadership. And it needs to be done well,’ said Ms Grote.

But Dr John Hyslop, of the BMA’s consultants’ committee, objected to the practicalities of such training.

‘The undergraduate curriculum is already tight on content and we can’t fit this in. And the foundation years are also tight,’ he said.

He suggested training post-graduate medical managers and a medical MBA (Master of Business Administration).

Medical student Tim Crocker-Buque said leadership training had no place in undergraduate learning.

‘Let’s worry about anatomy and physiology before we think about leading people. Let’s do the basics first,’ he said.

But Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA’s consultants’ committee, disagreed. He described management and leadership skills as ‘vital’.

‘We need it embedded from the start,’ said Dr Fielden.

GPletters@haymarket.com

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