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Compassionate Leadership_20May2024_Iris deposit.pdf (331.36 kB)

Can compassionate leadership of senior hospital leaders help retain trainee doctors?

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-01, 09:37 authored by Wen Wang, Jennifer Creese, Maria Karanika-Murray, Kevin Harris, Mark McCarthy, Christopher Leng, Christopher King
BackgroundHigh burnout and low retention rates among trainee doctors threaten the future viability of the UK medical workforce. This study empirically examined factors that can sustain trainee doctors.MethodA total of 323 trainee doctors from 25 National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in England and Wales completed an online survey on their training and employment experiences. A mixed method approach was employed.ResultsStructural equation modelling revealed that perceived compassionate leadership of hospital senior leaders (CLSL) (i.e., doctors in senior clinical and management positions, and senior managers) is directly and negatively associated with trainee doctors’ burnout and intention to quit. We propose the associations may be indirectly strengthened through two mediating pathways: increased psychological contract fulfilment (PCF) of training/organisational support and reduced worry about the state of the NHS; however, only the former is supported. The model can explain a substantial 37% of the variance in reported burnout and 28% of intention to quit among trainee doctors. Being a Foundation Year (FY) trainee was significantly associated with poor PCF and burnout. Rich qualitative data further elaborated on their experiences in terms of senior leaders’ awareness of their training/working experiences, listening to and acting on.ConclusionsActive and demonstrable CLSL plays a vital role in trainee doctors’ retention. It has both direct (through support) and indirect effects through improving trainee doctors’ PCF to reduce burnout and intention to quit. This seems particularly valuable among FY doctors. Implications for the development and management of the medical workforce are discussed.

Funding

British Academy Innovation Fellowship (grant number IF2223\230023)

History

Author affiliation

College of Social Sci Arts and Humanities School of Business

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

BMJ Leader

Publisher

BMJ

eissn

2398-631X

Acceptance date

2024-06-17

Copyright date

2024

Available date

2024-07-01

Language

en

Deposited by

Dr Wen Wang

Deposit date

2024-06-28

Data Access Statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

Rights Retention Statement

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