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Leadership and the medical registrar: how can organisations support these unsung heroes?
  1. Tim Blake1,2,
  2. Andrew Whallett1
  1. 1Rheumatology Department, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, UK
  2. 2Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tim Blake, Rheumatology Department, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley DY1 2HQ, UK; timblakewarwick{at}


Medical registrars have been described as the ‘workhorses’ of National Health Service hospitals, being at the interface of acute and chronic health services. They are expected to demonstrate effective leadership skills. There are concerns from the Royal College of Physicians that medical registrars are being overwhelmed and unsupported by organisations, and are struggling in their ability to provide safe, high-quality patient care. Junior colleagues are also being deterred by general medical specialties by the prospect of becoming the ‘Med Reg’. There is a growing need to support medical registrars in several key aspects of training, not least medical leadership. Thus far, there has been a distinct disparity in the provision of medical leadership training for junior doctors in the UK that has adversely affected the standard of care given to patients. Recent landmark reviews and initiatives, principally the Medical Leadership Competency Framework, have raised awareness of leadership competencies for all doctors and the need for their incorporation into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. It is hoped that interactive strategies to engage medical registrars in leadership training will lead to positive results including improvements in interdisciplinary communication, patient outcomes and fulfilment of curriculum competencies. Organisations have a duty to improve the quality of medical leadership training so that doctors feel equipped to influence change throughout their careers and be tomorrow's leaders. This review outlines the deficiencies in training, the importance of developing leadership skills in medical registrars and educational strategies that could be implemented by organisations in a cost-effective manner.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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