What is leadership in psychiatry according to young psychiatrists?
Young psychiatrists in Norway obtain exposure to train and experience handling leadership through the numerous rotations in different clinical settings they obtain over the course of their psychiatric specialty training. Personal attributes often illustrate how good or bad situations can be handled, and many factors can either easily influence patients and the mental health team positively or prove to be challenging. I think many young psychiatrists typically find that being a leader themselves in a new clinical rotation is challenging professionally, but is an important attribute for young psychiatrists to develop so that high quality health care can be delivered.
Leadership in psychiatry is multi-faceted that aims to harmonize and incorporate psychotherapeutic principles and interventions into leading patient care. This is acheived through individual patient therapy, guiding mental health teams, and advising organizations within which they work. Psychiatrists often have a fundamental role in tolerating situations of considerable uncertainty. This is demanding on young psychiatrists, and expectations to therapy and treatment additionally comes from not only the patient but also next-of-kin and the health care team. Leadership should therefore encourage an open culture, where all sources centering around the patient are free to speak out about their concerns, and are supported by having a therapeutic arena to express their views.
In psychiatry, leadership also means advocating for patients to reduce stigma and ensuring that in-patient treatment bridges back to the community with optimal supportive care. Recovery and rehabilitation is a vital component in psychiatry that gives the patient an important role in leadership themselves—when indicated. Patients with psychiatric diagnoses feel more empowered when they are able to express their own views about their experience.
Leadership in psychiatry is a skill that all young psychiatrists can develop through training, reflective practice, and experience. □