Interprofessional Leadership

NVMO workgroup: Interprofessional leadership

Introduction: Teamwork seems easy at first sight. Most of us would claim to be good team workers, but we are often confronted with difficulties within leadership in interprofessional teams in daily practice. Yet, especially in health care, good teamwork is essential for effective patient-centered care. While research has shown that collaboration between healthcare professionals does have a positive effect on the quality of care, its implementation in daily practice remains challenging to achieve.

In many hospital settings worldwide, hierarchical structures are still prominent in health care processes and constitute the standard for many hospital leadership structures. For example, doctors are typically (put) in charge, while nurses and supportive care providers are expected to carry out the operational orders. Hence, transforming this structure with a shift towards more collaboration between the various professional groups is crucial and necessary. This shift requires not only a different kind of collaboration but also the development of new role patterns for health care workers.

The doctor’s role within the CanMEDS framework has recently changed from manager to leader, with nursing leadership also rising. With these changes, new questions and needs are emerging regarding the composition and delegation of tasks within healthcare teams.

It remains unclear to curriculum developers, teachers, and students in medical and nursing education, how to implement this. Furthermore, research on interprofessional leadership in the medical and nursing sector is sparse and does not clarify how we 1. can promote collaboration between healthcare professionals and  2. counteract the negative aspects of the hierarchy. In this workgroup (or special interest group), we focus on how healthcare professionals can evolve as leaders and promote good collaboration. We intend to achieve this through dialogue on daily issues in the healthcare workplace, identifying problems in interprofessional collaboration in healthcare teams, and developing research to find a better solution. As this issue is not peculiar to the Netherlands alone, we shall work closely together with other international workgroups to learn from each other and exchange ideas.

Aim: To find a new best practice for professionals in interprofessional health care by:

      Organize conventions, workshops, and (joint) lectures

      Participate in research and contribute to international conferences

      Identify problems in interprofessional health care relations

      Facilitate connections between professionals on a global platform

      Assist teachers in translating theory/ideology of leadership into practice

      Support healthcare workers to reflect on intrinsic roles in interprofessional leadership to use this to achieve better collaboration

Target: Professionals in medical/nursing and other allied healthcare education and practice

Activities: this workgroup will congregate approximately six times a year, digitally or physically, to exchange knowledge, experiences, and new projects, followed by symposia available for all members.

Members: doctors and nurses (specialized or yet to be trained) are represented in this group. If you are interested in learning more or being part of the workgroup, then you can contact us through


·       Nora Petrzik (  - ANIOS IC, Elizabeth TweeSteden ZIekenhuis, Tilburg.

·       Jamiu Busari ( – Pediatrician & Assoc. Prof., Maastricht University

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