How a leadership short course helped surgeon David Love
To take on greater challenges, David Love sought out the lessons that aren't always taught at medical school.
David is an orthopaedic surgeon who runs his own practice alongside his career at one of Victoria's largest hospitals, but has ambitions that aren't limited to medicine.
"I've got it in the back of my head that I should take on greater challenges in private and in public life," he says.
"To be able to achieve those goals in the longer term, over the next five or ten years, I need to start building up a set of skills that are not necessarily inherently taught during a surgical training program."
To help himself meet those challenges, David enrolled in the MBS Leadership Program at Melbourne Business School to complement the skills he learned during his medical degree and specialist training.
While some people have an innate leadership ability or can pick it up "by osmosis", David says, others might need a bit of guidance along the way – something he felt he needed.
"The course really makes you look inside yourself and figure out in your own mind what's good for you and how you interact with other people," he says.
Before coming to Melbourne Business School, David had reached a point in his career where he was comfortable with his surgical skillset, working as a trauma surgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital as well as running his own practice.
"That's freed up space to look at other things," he says, "whether that be some taking on challenges in administrative roles, heads of unit roles or other challenges.
"I need to take up things like this leadership course to see if it would enable me to achieve those goals."
'A better understanding of yourself'
The part of the course David found most helpful was a 360-degree review and coaching session that followed. It gave him the opportunity to obtain anonymous feedback from his colleagues and discuss the findings extensively with a professional coach.
"I was surprised in terms of how reassuring it was for me. I found it quite helpful, particularly some of the comments that people made when I asked for feedback from them.
"Some of the things I kind of already knew, but it was nice to hear what I thought was already a problem. And now I know I can work on those to try and improve myself."
David said he was also quite pleased to see some of the positive things people said about him: "They're things that I can also work on and try to make even better for the future."
When choosing where to take part in a leadership program, David says he chose Melbourne Business School because of its location and reputation. His advice for other health professionals considering the MBS Leadership Program are to consider how it fits within their career aspirations.
"There is a push within medicine to get people to take on various leadership courses, and I know there's a multitude of options out there. If you're thinking about doing it, figure out what's important to you and find the course that's best for you," he says.
"You need to have a specific goal in mind about what you're trying to do, where you're trying to go in your career, and ask yourself: 'Will this help?' Sometimes, it's a bit hard to know if it will help until you've actually done it."
"You certainly come out a better person and have a better understanding of yourself. The course was very good at making you look at your own ability and made you think about the best way to interact with people around you, whether they be people higher up the chain or under you."