Communities of Practice: Redressal of Medical Education Leadership Challenges through a Workplace-Based Learning Approach

  • Syeda Amina Ahmad
Keywords: Medical education leaders, communities of practice, leadership skills, collective wisdom, emotional wellbeing


Background: There is a realization that learning leadership skills is beyond classroom teaching and requires leaders to participate in communities of practice (CoP) that enables them to learn from the wisdom of seasoned leader because such leaders dont ask budding leaders to follow their instructions, they rather set examples of best practices in medical education. However, dearth of published evidence both locally and internationally suggests that there is a need to investigate how have communicates of practice impacted leadership skills of physicians as medical education leaders.

Participants and Methods: A transcendental phenomenological study was conducted, involving seven physician leaders working as medical teachers from both basic and clinical sciences, heading the medical college and/or their departments as professors in a medical college on the basis of convenience sampling and their experiences as medical education leaders who had presumably experienced the phenomenon of learning leadership skills. The researcher conducted hour-long one-on-one interviews with participants at their workplace offices and one interview was conducted at the researchers home office. One of the participants was interviewed twice as additional gaps were identified from the initial analysis. Interviews conducted in the surgeons office were interrupted many a times by theatre assistants, but the continuity was resumed successfully. The qualitative data was analyzed manually by using the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method.

Results: One major theme namely communities of practice impacting leadership skills emerged from the transcripts whereas, two subthemes namely gaining wisdom and uplifting emotional wellbeing were identified as main aspects that had a major influence on leadership skills of physicians in the medical education milieu.

Conclusion: CoP has a positive impact on leadership skills. It enables leaders in medical education to learn wisdom to solve difficult leadership problems. Evidence supports that CoP also uplifts emotional wellbeing of leaders by preventing their burn out.

How to Cite
Ahmad S. Communities of Practice: Redressal of Medical Education Leadership Challenges through a Workplace-Based Learning Approach. J Fatima Jinnah Med Univ [Internet]. 15Jun.2023 [cited 19Apr.2024];16(4):146-50. Available from: