Leadership in the Medical Field: Part 1

How soft skills can provide workplace leadership

Strong leadership is essential to every organization’s success. But in the medical industry, strong leadership can be the difference between a positive or negative experience for patients, staff, and the business as a whole. As experts learn how effective leadership can boost workplace morale, reduce medical errors, and enhance overall patient care, the significance of having strong leadership in the medical field is becoming more and more clear.

The medical field requires leaders whose skill sets may differ from those that would be excellent in another industry because it is so distinct from other industries. Even if you want to work in the medical industry but aren’t interested in managing others, it’s crucial to understand what leadership qualities can foster a productive workplace for you. We’ll go over the traits that are most important for success in this first of a two-part series on leadership in the medical industry.

Personal leadership

A strong leader in the medical field should possess a number of personal qualities. For one, self-awareness is key—by recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses, leaders will be more effective at taking charge when necessary and delegating to others in certain instances. Since there is so much potential for unethical judgments to have a lasting detrimental influence on specific patients and the facility as a whole, integrity is crucial for any leader in the medical industry. At lower levels of leadership and while doing other work obligations, one can demonstrate the ability to manage a number of varied tasks, responsibilities, and expectations. A good leader will also keep working on their personal growth to stay current and informed in a field that is constantly evolving.

Managing a team

Teamwork is ever-present in the medical field, and the ease of that relationship is key to maintaining happy workers. If you’re in a medical assistant education program and on the hunt for a new job or soon will be, you’ll want to find a place where the leadership is creating a positive teamwork environment. That means developing personal relationships and networks within the facility, encouraging contribution and emphasizing the importance of team collaboration. That’s an appealing work environment for many prospective employees, and the benefits will trickle down to patients.

Adapting to change

Not all medical leaders are keen to welcome the changes that are taking place in the field. A strong medical leader with high long-term prospects will accept that the industry is inevitably going to change over time, whether those changes are connected to governmental legislation, facility procedures, or even the techniques of giving care to patients. Effective leadership should always look for methods to improve the standard of the care given to patients rather than fighting against those changes. Employees benefit greatly from this adaptability as well because it increases their confidence that their facility will continue to stand out among its competitors.

Most employees—particularly young professionals just entering the field—take their cues from leadership at the top of the organizational pyramid. But it’s also important to consider how leadership among coworkers can be instrumental in maintaining progressive attitudes about the quality of patient care.

Continue on to the second installment (Avaliable TBA) of this series to learn about how soft skills can provide workplace leadership in their own right.

Matt Herndon

Matt Herndon is a dad and husband who loves to write about almost anything, especially leadership development and family. He won't write about cats or politics. Connect with Matt.

Reader Interactions


  1. tufo says

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  2. Chris Jackson says

    Although it is important to be able to lead and to have strong leaders in the medical field, sometimes it’s also important to know how to set aside your desire to always be the leader and to work with others and follow another leader’s directions. I’d think a big group of people who are all trying to be the leader would be a recipe for disaster.



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