A search for training of practising leadership in emergency medicine: A systematic review

Ture Larsen*, Randi Beier-Holgersen, Jette Meelby, Peter Dieckmann, Doris Østergaard

*Corresponding author for this work
6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This systematic review examines the medical, psychological and educational literature for training in practising leadership of a team leader in emergencies. The objectives of this paper are (1) describe how literature addresses operational training in practising leadership for the emergency medical team-leader (2) enhance understanding of leadership training in the medical environment. Background: Worldwide, medical supervisors find it difficult to get students to rise to the occasion as leaders of emergency teams. It appears that many residents feel unprepared to adopt the role as a leader in emergencies. Method: A systematic review was conducted (May–December 2016) in accordance with the PRISMA 2009 Checklist. A literature search was conducted against a set of inclusion criteria. Databases searched included PubMed, Psycinfo (via Ovid), and ERIC. Results: 27 articles covering the period 1986–2016 were analysed. Four sources of data were identified: Intervention studies practising leadership, intervention studies on simulation and leadership assessment, observation studies assessing leadership, interview/survey studies about the need for leadership training. No workable training in practising leadership in emergencies for doctors was found. The majority of the research projects focused on various different types of taxonomies. Conclusions: No consistent and workable leadership training for the emergency medical teamleader was identified. One study for paramedics succeeded in training empowering leadership skills. For many years multiple taxonomies and leadership assessment tools have been developed but failed to come to terms with workable leadership training. The literature describes lack of leadership as highly detrimental to performance during a critical, clinical situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00968
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Emergency medicine
  • Health profession


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