Having just returned from the Leaders in Healthcare conference I’m thinking a lot about the linear nature of medical careers.

With other Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) Coaches, I had the opportunity to offer Speed Coaching to delegates and contributed to a number of breakout sessions. Hearing people talk about their career (whether early, mid or later) I was reminded of how difficult it can be for people to diverge from the usual path.

We know that the medical education and training pathway is long and hard. It clearly requires immense dedication, effort and focus. But it might not give people the time to think laterally or longer term about their options, ideas or passions.

I know that the situation is better than it used to be and people can take career breaks, fellowships and transfers, and equally I know the service need is significant – we need people on the ground. However, those who do take alternative pathways often feel isolated and can be made to feel bad about their choices.

People who have taken a divergent path often say they have benefited enormously and cite the following:

  • strengthened confidence and therefore resilience
  • increased sense of purpose and highly developed interest areas
  • better worklife balance and life perspective
  • broader and more diverse networks

And they sometimes say they think it makes them a better doctor.

I still think we have one of the best medical education systems in the world, despite the interference of the government. But I think it is useful to reflect on the route and destination – might it be worth being a bit divergent?

Early Career Doctors  – consider a year away from clinical practice as a National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow with the FMLM CLICK HERE. 

Next application round starts this month for fellowships to start September 2018. CLICK HERE for an idea of the timeline.

If you would like to talk to me about your career development needs call me on 07540 593476 or email me at alexis@alexishutson.com. 

The NHS cannot afford to let its junior workforce become disengaged. Wathes & Spurgeon. (FMLM pub.)

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I’ve been delivering leadership and management workshops for junior doctors over the last couple of months. It has given me fresh insight into the challenges faced by this part of the medical workforce and the personal pressures these dedicated people are facing.

A paper really worth reading on the engagement of junior doctors is recently published by the Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management (FMLM). You can download it from their website HERE.

A key finding in this exploratory study undertaken by Wathes and Spurgeon for the FMLM, is that the transitionary nature of junior doctors working lives is a key barrier to their engagement and involvement in service improvement. If you are only around for a few months (i.e. in your Foundation Training) how can you really be expected to be integrated thoroughly and therefore engaged meaningfully? However this unique perspective that junior doctors have of the service – seeing and experiencing many different approaches and ideas is worth harnessing and the energy and passion of juniors is always impressive.

However the government’s mishandling of the junior doctors contract has adversely affected this energy and passion, meaning that engaging and integrating junior doctors is going to be even more challenging in the future.

…their energy must be tapped not sapped .” Bruce Keogh.