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'Train doctors to be NHS leaders'

Doctors of the future need better training in management skills so they can become leaders in the health service, a report from the Royal College of Physicians concludes.

Doctors have a 'neglected' role in health service management and leadership, according to the report.

It called on royal colleges and training organisations to 'develop a cadre of clinical leaders' and identify those with possible leadership skills from medical school onwards.

Dr Roger Neighbour, president of the RCGP and member of the working party that produced the report, said barriers between doctors and managers had to be broken down.

He said: 'Doctors often feel management doesn't understand, but we need to get better at telling them and explaining our position rather than sniping from the sidelines.'

The report, 'Doctors in Society', suggested medical schools held 'white coat ceremonies' similar to ones in the US, where doctors pledge themselves to a set of professional values.

It also criticised the health service as too rigidly policed and called for a 'philosophical shift' to a system that focused on doctors' virtues, rather than their weaknesses.

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