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BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 3;9(7):e027969. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027969.

Contribution of short-term global clinical health experience to the leadership competency of health professionals: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Education Studies, International Research Center for Medical Education, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Department of International Cooperation for Medical Education, International Research Center for Medical Education, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Globalisation has increased the opportunities for health professionals working in developed countries to provide clinical and educational support in developing countries. However, how these experiences contribute to the leadership competency of health professionals is unclear; therefore, this study explored this with the objective of analysing the process of developing individual leadership competency.

DESIGN:

This is a qualitative descriptive study. Qualitative descriptive study is widely used in healthcare research, particularly to describe the nature of various healthcare phenomena. Qualitative descriptive data were collected in face-to-face, semistructured interviews.

SETTING:

The authors interviewed Japanese health professionals who participated in an international medical cooperation project as part of a multinational medical team between July 2017 and March 2018, and analysed and interpreted the data using a social constructivism paradigm.

PARTICIPANTS:

The authors interviewed 20 research participants, including 5 nurses, 5 dentists and 10 physicians with an average of 15.3 years of clinical experience.

RESULTS:

The interviews identified 58 emergent themes related to their leadership competency, 23 of which affected the actual medical care in their own institutions. The authors categorised the 58 emergent themes into seven competency areas: leadership concepts, teambuilding, direction setting, communication, business skills, working with others and self-development. The authors identified the relationships among each competency and identified differences between professions: nurses particularly reflected on their empathic attitudes towards patient after global clinical health experience; dentists tended to reflect on their business skills; physicians tended to reflect on their leadership concepts and teambuilding.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study clarified the leadership competency gained through short-term global clinical health experience and the process of individual leadership competency development. The findings provide expected learning competency for those considering medical practice in developing or other countries in the future.

KEYWORDS:

global health; leadership; qualitative research

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