Book review: Lessons Learned: Reflections of Ca­na­­dian physician leaders.

Edited by Chris Carruthers, MD. Ottawa: Canadian Medical Association. ISBN 978-1-897490-09-0. 123 pages. 
$24.95 for non-CMA members and $16.95 for CMA members.

Most of us are content to participate in the clinical work in which we have been trained and are reluctant to participate in the time demands of medical leadership. In particular, we realize that medical leadership activities intrude into our patient contact time, our incomes, and our family time.

This book is about physicians who are committed to the belief that if we as physicians don’t participate in health care management and change issues, someone else will. These 17 physicians realize that we wield huge power and influence in the health care systems. They are visionaries who have also learned that humans respond better to direction than to authority. 

This book will appeal to those mid-life physicians tired of “career lock” and who are pondering taking on the responsibilities of department head, chief of staff, dean of medicine, or health care administrators. It will also appeal to those physicians who have experienced the “school of hard knocks” and can relate to much of the sage advice that resonates in this book, which includes:

• If you know you are right, don’t give up.
• Nurture relationships.
• Charisma or charm is not leadership.
• You better be a good swimmer if you burn your bridges.
• Be prepared to take risks.
• Do not attempt to lead without having a vision of where you want to go.
• Have a good sense of humor… and that’s no joke.

Willem R. Vroom, MD. Book review: Lessons Learned: Reflections of Ca­na­­dian physician leaders.. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 2, March, 2011, Page(s) 93 - News.

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