Learning to be a healthcare leader

The journey of MSc Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care for me started with a course called Evidence Based Practice in which you can answer any burning clinical question by literature review.

Back in Pakistan, when I was working for Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan, one of my key responsibilities was to maintain client data which, I came to realise later, is intrinsically linked with evidence-based practice.  Once I’d recognised its potential for being applied to best practice in healthcare, this course provided me with the knowledge I needed for searching research papers and quality checking in order to answer those burning clinical questions.

Leadership has three important aspects; one is self-leadership, the second is leading others and thirdly is leading organisations.  Being in the programme’s initial phase, I studied self-leadership. This course dealt with self realisation of personal leadership styles, decision making styles, biases in decision making and personality traits. It also highlighted the impact of personal habits on other team members.


Writing our plans

Every student enrolled was asked to write a personal development plan which included reflections on personal strengths and weakness and future implications of planning. By writing this plan, I went through a series of theories explaining different leadership styles and how to improve my own style for effective leadership.

Leading others is an important facet of leadership. It’s about developing an excellent team by understanding the technical, physical and emotional needs of team members to enhance team effectiveness. Theoretical learning in conjunction with practical application provided an experience of reviewing pitfalls. This experiential learning, which included fun activities, helped me develop an insight into my behavior within a team.


Meeting the VC!

But studying at the University of Southampton is not only about the curriculum.  It develops multiple aspects of your personality by giving you opportunities for socialising and celebration. My most proud moment was attending a welcome dinner by the Vice Chancellor of the University for all international scholarship students.

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