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Medical leadership: Why it's important, what is required, and how we develop it

3 May 2016

The evolving world of modern healthcare requirements – expanding populations and longer life expectancy for a start – brings with it a demand for highly skilled medical professionals. In an era of such change, today’s prospective healthcare professionals need to be prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders, taking the industry in a progressive and promising direction. So why has traditional curricula glossed over the importance of strong leadership credentials?

Why is leadership important in healthcare?

Consistent leadership is significantly important to Australia’s healthcare system. It’s at the core of our growing population – but are we ready for more? A macroscopic appreciation of skill management, delegation and resource allocation is of paramount importance to all healthcare systems, particularly in Australia. The industry is in need of individuals with visionary communication and inherent innovation to manage and embrace the future of Australian healthcare.

What leadership skills do we require in healthcare professionals?

Working as a medical professional already commands a requirement for extensive education and knowledge, coupled with strong and reliable emotional strength and intelligence.

It’s because of this that leadership has fallen victim to omission from traditional popular training. However, healthcare leadership is now more important than ever. The evolution of technology and the healthcare system as a whole generates a demand for leaders who can consistently drive change and vision, while effectively managing performance growth.

A sound understanding of funding, government involvement and industry strategy is required to make the necessary changes to Australia’s healthcare system. Being able to analyse the political, social, economical and technological aspects of the medical industry that pose opportunities and threats to the system are key qualities of the type of healthcare leader that we need to start sourcing – and these individuals need to come from a more modern era of education.

How do we develop healthcare leadership in Australia?

Education that is complementary to existing skillsets is the key to unlocking the leadership potential in many of today’s existing and promising healthcare professionals. The training required to develop medical staff is already so extensive and rigorous, given the nature of the industry, meaning further education to develop soft skills associate with management is the way forward.

SCU Online’s Master of Healthcare Leadership is designed to communicate the importance of leadership in Australia’s evolving system, and provides future healthcare leaders with the practical skills to shape the industry.

Through exposure to a range of healthcare strategies, policies and practices – and combining this with strong leadership mentoring – our healthcare leadership courses can nurture and grow some of the strongest, most admirable leaders of tomorrow’s healthcare system.

For more information about our online Master of Healthcare Leadership and how it can grow your career in healthcare, contact an SCU Enrolment Advisor today. We’re available 8.00am - 6.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am-5pm on Fridays. Call 1300 589 882.