10 December 2012

The University of Queensland’s elite Medical Leadership Program is celebrating its inaugural cohort of students at a special pre-graduation event tonight.

The Medical Leadership Program (MLP) is an innovative, first of its kind program, designed to develop the School of Medicine’s best and brightest into the medical leaders of tomorrow.

This program was established following feedback from medical alumni, who had reflected that they had found themselves as doctors being thrust into positions of leadership, yet they had received no formal leadership training.

In 2010, the UQ Schools of Medicine and Business partnered to establish a Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership tailored specifically for medical students.

Professor David Wilkinson, UQ’s Dean of Medicine and Head of School believes UQ has a responsibility to nurture and grow the future leaders of the medical profession, and this is part of UQ’s effort to do this.

“These doctors will develop leadership roles within the profession, and some will go on to become leaders more broadly in society," he said.

“The MLP will help them become the best leaders that they can be, and I look forward to their success in the future.”

Centred around the Graduate Certificate, the MLP also features a monthly seminar series presented by top leaders from health and other industries who give their own perspectives on leadership and share their leadership journeys.

Graduating student Dr Andrew Hutchinson said the MLP had been a fascinating introduction to the role of business principles in medicine and had encouraged him to continually think about the delivery of healthcare and most importantly, how to improve it.

“Small group workshops exploring strategy, leadership and human resource management have incited thoughtful discussion with key concepts reinforced by industry leaders and mentors who share their everyday experience in leadership,” Dr Hutchinson said.

“Perhaps the best aspect of the program has been the opportunity to learn, debate and scheme with 10 intelligent and diverse friends who have shared the journey of the past three years.

“I am sure the members of our cohort will continue to share our big ideas for healthcare for many years to come.”

Another important feature of the program is that students are not burdened with the cost.

Funded initially by the School of Medicine, there is now a growing list of donors who have partnered with the School to support this initiative.

The School is currently working to secure additional support to not only ensure that all MLP places are funded in perpetuity but that the School can develop the program further, offering a greater number of, and more unique, leadership opportunities to these students.

Queensland Health, via the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital has been a significant supporter of this program, enrolling a small group of their own junior doctors in the MLP.

The School of Medicine is now celebrating the achievements of its first cohort and this milestone in the development of the MLP for the University.

Media: Brian Mallon, Communication Officer School of Medicine, 0403621109/07 3365 5254 b.mallon@uq.edu.au