World Federation of Medical Managers

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2013 International Medical Leaders Forum & Annual Meeting

The 2013 WFMM International Medical Leaders Forum & Annual Meeting was held in Vancouver on the 2nd June 2013 with the Canadian Conference on Physician Leadership, co-hosted by the Canadian Society of Physician Executives (CSPE) and Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Presentations from key speakers are now available.

Click here to view the conference program and details of the key note speakers.

Click here to view speaker presentations from the forum.

Registered members will be able to access photographs and recordings here shortly.

Dr Gillian Kernaghan outgoing President of the Canadian Society of Physician Executives (CSPE) officially opened the International Medical Leaders Forum (IMLF) and congratulated the WFMM Steering Committee for its leadership in developing this international gathering of senior physician leaders. Dr Kernighan said the CSPE Board was pleased to be host to this important meeting. All members of the CPSE Board were attending and she looked forward to a constructive day of discussion.

Physician Engagement: An International Priority

Dr Roger Boyd Chair of the WFMM Steering Committee introduced the two key note speakers and gave apologies for Dr Peter Angood, CEO ACPE who was unable to attend and sends his sincere apologies and best wishes for the meeting.

Professor Chris Ham, CEO of The Kings Fund in the UK presented on the latest research to come out from the Kings Fund. The 234 page report titled "Are we there yet? Models of medical Leadership and their effectiveness: An Exploratory Study" (April 2013), is available from the Kings Fund website. The clear messages from this latest research are:
  • There is a relationship between physician engagement and health service performance
  • The building of relationships within organisations between physicians and managers is critical to achieving high levels of physician engagement
Professor Ham’s presentation can be found here

Dr Lee Gruner, President of RACMA, in following Professor Ham spoke about the transition from physician to manager and to medical leader. She provided a practical perspective on clinician engagement based on many years as a medical management and leadership consultant in Australia and overseas. The move from physician to physician manager and leader in partnership with a health service organisation requires a paradigm shift. As a result, the transition is difficult for many physicians and a significant number never manage to make the transition successfully. To understand the paradigm shift and how to assist this transition, it is important to identify how physicians come to their clinical roles, what the characteristics of being a good clinician are and what the differences are when assuming a management role.

Identification of the differences, understanding the impact of changing behaviour, learning to work as a manager and the partnership that needs to be established and nurtured between physicians and the organisation are all key to successful transition. The professional physician manager or medical administrator plays a critical role in the education and coaching process for physician colleagues in the transition process.

Dr Gruner’s presentation can be found here

Cultural Perspectives on Clinical Engagement

With representatives from UK, Italy, South Africa, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and New Zealand the WFMM provides a forum to explore if culture has an influence on expressions of medical leadership.

Professor Graham Dickson presented an opinion piece derived from a short literature search about leadership and culture. The presentation was followed by invited comment from South Africa and Sri Lanka representatives.

Professor Dickson's presentation can be found here

Revalidation Workshop

Medical revalidation has emerged as a key driver for improving the quality of care and patient safety in the UK. The initiative, which began formally in 2007, has seen a standardised approach to medical appraisal and clinical governance, including patient and colleague feedback. The first doctors were revalidated in December 2012 and we present the story so far, the opportunities we see as a result of implementing the system along with the challenges we have tackled – and those that still face us.

The presenters were Professor Jenny Simpson who has advised successive governments in both the UK and overseas on clinical leadership strategy. In 2007 Jenny was requested by Ministers to lead 'Tackling Concerns Locally' for Department of Health, implementing the White Paper: "Trust, Assurance and Safety". Jenny contributed to the drafting of the Regulation for Medical Revalidation and Responsible Officers and was commissioned to write the DH Guidance for responsible officers, the competency framework for responsible officers and the training plan. Professor Jenny Simpson’s co-presenter was Dr Mike Bewick, the Deputy Medical Director for NHS England, and the National Lead for Medical Revalidation in England.

Professor Simpson's presentation can be found here

Neuro-Scientific Perspectives on Leadership Workshops:

Professor Paul Mohapel from the University of Victoria incorporated recent scientific findings to explore the link between the brain, psychology, and leadership and respond to the following questions: What is happening inside leaders’ head when they make decisions? How might a leader’s actions, either good or bad, impact the brain? The presentation touched on topics such as the role of emotions in decision-making, how assumptions and perceptions are formed, the impact of stress, interpersonal communication, and how social bonds are formed. In particular, Professor Mohapel highlighted recent brain studies demonstrating the profound benefits of mindfulness training in building self-awareness, emotional intelligence, empathy, ethical choices, and social connections.

Professor Mohapel’s presentation can be found here

Readers may also be interested to read the article by Adam Waytz and Malia Mason, "Your brain at work. What a new approach to neuroscience can teach us about management", published in the HBR, July-August 2013

Comparative Studies of Leadership in WFMM Countries

The final session comprised interactive sessions with groups of participants to discuss the following themes:
  • What are the essential capabilities of effective medical leaders and managers?
  • Do medical leaders and managers need to have highly tuned 'soft skills' to engage others? What are these?
  • What approaches are currently used and/or should be used to recognise the expertise of medical leaders and managers? How can this recognition be embedded/sustained in the health systems?
  • What are the effectiveness outcomes for health systems where doctors lead? Are there case studies known to participants?
  • How can we embed learning in good medical management practice? Are there case studies of how this has been achieved?
Conversations from these groups will provide input to a WFMM project to compare the physician training and development programs in WFMM member countries: participants include: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, UK, Canada, USA, Australia and NZ. This project will extend other comparative works such as that of O’Sullivan and McKimm (2011).


Dickinson, H, Ham, C, Snelling, I, and Spurgeon, P, (April 2013) "Are we there yet? Models of medical Leadership and their effectiveness: An Exploratory Study", copy can be found at: and/or

O'Sullivan, H and McKimm, J (2011), "Medical Leadership: an international perspective", British Journal of Hospital medicine, Vol.72, No.11

Waytz, A and Mason, M ,(2013) "Your brain at work. What a new approach to neuroscience can teach us about management", HBR, July-August



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