A question to consider for your medical interview


“How effective are you as a catalyst for change?”

Whenever you are preparing for your medical interview it pays to consider as many potential questions as possible as this will help you to clarify your experience and opinions in advance of the event.  You will always impress most if you can illustrate your responses with real life examples, explaining yourself clearly and succinctly which can be a challenge when faced with a broad, open question like the one above.  It therefore helps if you can use some form of relevant framework or model to help structure your answer.

Having a clear model in mind can enable you to think of specific events when you have demonstrated positive behaviours and to identify your development needs.  There are numerous frameworks to consider, ranging from complex personality type profiles, through processes like the GROW model for coaching, to simple lists.

One such list format has come this week in the shape of the output of the first phase of the Challenge Top Down Change initiative.  This is a joint initiative by HSJ, Nursing Times and NHS Improving Quality which is trying to pave the way for bottom-up change by an empowered frontline, rather than continuing with the current top-down culture of imposed change.  They have produced two lists which collate the anonymous opinions of a large numbers of workers in the NHS.

The first is a list of the top 10 barriers to bottom-up change:

  • Confusing strategies
  • Over-controlling leadership
  • One-way communication
  • Poor workforce planning
  • Stifling innovation
  • Playing it safe
  • Poor project management
  • Undervaluing staff
  • An inhibiting physical environment
  • Perverse incentives

The second is a list of 11 fundamental building blocks that can support bottom up change:

  • Inspiring and supportive leadership
  • Collaborative working
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Smart use of resources
  • Autonomy and trust
  • Challenging the status quo
  • A call to action – clearly articulating purpose and meaning
  • Fostering an open culture
  • Nurturing our people
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Thought diversity – valuing dissenting opinions as much as coherence and conformity

When, how and how often have you demonstrated the elements in the list of fundamental building blocks for change?

When, how and how often have you demonstrated the elements in the list of top 10 barriers to change?

What are you doing about this?

 So, how effective are you as a catalyst for change?