Medical leadership

This page looks at what is meant by medical leadership and lists ways in which you can develop your leadership skills at medical school. There are links so that you can find out more.

What does leadership mean for doctors?

Leadership is about setting a direction and motivating others to embrace it. Doctors and other health professionals are at the frontline of healthcare and have a vital role to play in the leadership and management of others.

female GP taking blood pressure


When you qualify as a doctor you’ll be expected to develop your role as a leader and manager. During medical school you’ll be given every opportunity to acquire the skills that you will need to become a future leader of the health service.

As you’ll work in multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), you’ll need to accept the leadership of others who have more expertise and experience than you. However, if any leader makes a decision based on poor information, you should be able to challenge them to achieve a good patient outcome. As you develop through your career, your leadership role will gradually increase.

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