Objective: This article aims to outline the historical development of medical leadership in the United Kingdom (UK), present recent advances, and discuss professional development and future prospects. Conclusions: With increasing involvement of medical professionals in top managerial roles in the UK over the last 30 years, leadership development initiatives have been growing steadily and there is increasing recognition of the need for leadership and management skills for doctors. Such skills can help to greatly improve patient care as well as enhance organisational effectiveness and productivity. The central involvement of professional bodies such as the UK Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, and the establishment of medical fellowship schemes, have provided a solid foundation for a new generation of aspiring medical leaders but there is still a long way to go to achieve a higher degree of professionalism for clinical leadership in the UK. The evidence base is weak such that integrated efforts by clinicians and management academics have much to offer in achieving the vision of socially responsible, clinically relevant and research informed medical leadership training.
- Medical leadership