Turning to the dark side
An increasing number of doctors are becoming managers, and Lynn Eaton finds that the two might become synonymous
- By: Lynn Eaton
Most doctors would say the last thing they went into medicine for was to become a manager. Instead, they want to concentrate on using their clinical skills and dealing with patients, and not have to worry about resources or local politics. And the animosity between doctors (for which, read “good”) and managers (“bad”) is legendary.
But all that could be set to change. Undergraduate medical degrees and postgraduate training could soon include explicit training in management skills as a key component of their courses, possibly from as early as 2009.
Even as trainees, doctors have to face managerial issues: working with other people; making clinical decisions in an environment of resource constraints; and dealing with difficult people in a team. As they progress to more senior roles, a handful of them may become senior clinical directors. Yet despite all their years of training, doctors have no formalised training in management