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Int J Health Plann Manage. 2019 Jan;34(1):e947-e963. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2709. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Medical leadership competencies: A comparative study of physicians in public and private sector hospitals in India.

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AIIMS Cohort Study, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Management, Amity Business School, Amity University, Gurgaon, India.
Department of Hospital Administration, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Dr. RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Dean (Research) and Professor of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Indian health care system comprising of public and private sectors needs enhancement of medical leadership capacity to face the growing challenges. Hence, this study was designed to evaluate medical leadership competencies of public and private sector doctors.


A survey questionnaire was developed to assess "self-assessed proficiency levels" as well as "perceived importance of competency levels," to which 532 doctors responded-290 (54.5%) from private sector and 242 (45.5%) from public sector hospitals. Statistically significant "leadership competency gap" was observed for all 30 leadership competencies in both sectors, more so in public sector. The 10 most deficient competencies were mainly in the NHS-MLCF domains of "working with others," "managing services," and "setting direction." The most low-rated competency among public sector doctors was "knowledge of HR, procurement, financial, and contract management" while "ability to influence key decision makers who determine future government policies" was most deficient among private sector physicians. Further, deficiencies related to "time and stress management" and "conducting need analysis, identifying and prioritizing requirements" were confined to public and private sector doctors, respectively.


This study, first from India, highlights a critical need for medical leadership development programs in both sectors for enhancement of medical leadership capacity in the country.


India; leadership gap; medical leadership competencies; physicians; public and private sector


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