Managers urge clinicians to become managers

Junior doctors could be asked to undertake internships with medical directors, in order to give them greater management experience.

Nigel Edwards, policy director at the NHS Confederation, said there was a ‘consensus’ that more clinicians should move into management roles, such as medical director.

But he added that: ‘Many doctors who have the potential to be outstanding leaders feel reluctant to commit to top jobs because of a perceived toxicity in the roles and a sense of what the potential career progression will be afterwards.’

A Confederation report released last week found that many doctors were put off moving into management by a lack of clarity about what it entails, as well as concerns about job security and a reluctance to give up clinical practice.

It suggested that junior doctors could be given formal attachments shadowing medical directors to give them a better understanding of the role.

It also recommends that clinical time could be ‘ring fenced’, in order to ensure managers can keep up their practice.

‘If doctors are effectively excluded from chief executive positions, a major pool of talent is locked away from the system,’ the report argues. ‘And we need all the talent that is available.’

* Editor's blog: Should GPs and nurses become managers?

  • Should clinicians become managers?

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