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Navigating the Jungle Gym of Leadership Opportunities in Hospital Medicine

Written by: Tanveer Singh
Published on: Sep 14, 2022

jungle gym
Photo credit: Alexander Morozov/Adobe Stock

Presenters: Teela Crecelius, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Daniel Ricotta, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Alan Hall, MD, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Ky., Sanjay Patel, MD, FACP, FHM, Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

The presenters spoke about their journeys into their leadership roles and how a new or early-career hospitalist can navigate through the process. Most important was that every hospitalist is going to have a slightly different journey to leadership, but the underlying principles remain the same.

Dr. Tanveer
Dr. Tanveer

The path to leadership and your role as a leader could be portrayed via ikigai (the Japanese concept referring to something that gives you a reason for being). Your role as a leader should give you a sense of purpose, and a reason for living. So, it should include what you love and are passionate about, what the world needs, what you are good at, that it’s part of your profession, and what you can be paid for. If there is a combination of these factors, then your journey towards the leadership role and your role as a leader will give you a sense of purpose, and thus ikigai.

Some opportunities will come your way, presented by your leadership. The reason you were selected or approached to lead a certain committee or to do a certain role is that your leaders trust in your abilities. Your answer could be yes, provided you have time and you think you can do a good job or not. If you say no, you can help your leaders by directing them to someone who can do the job or help them with the resources needed to do the job. Don’t agree to take any job if you think you will not work hard or you will not enjoy it. 

To start a new endeavor, you will have to come out of your comfort zone. Try to build a relationship with your team and try to know them on a personal level. If someone is not performing in your team, don’t be judgmental. Instead ask, “How can I help here?” The most important lesson to navigate through the journey was that you should not dwell on failures; think of failure as the first attempt at learning. Always remember that collaboration that means your success is the success of your team. 

Dr. Singh is a hospitalist at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland.

This article was originally published by The Hospitalist.