Hi all. This is my first draft, so please be as critical as necessary! I have removed my company name and some details for privacy, but will include it when submitting.Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.(minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
not to lead, but to make a difference
It is said that great leaders set out not to lead, but to make a difference. This certainly describes my journey of becoming a leader and influencer within my organisation.
As a junior doctor, I found myself as part of a bigger team tasked with caring for our hospital inpatients. I was required to follow, rather than to lead, and I was mostly content with this. After all, I became a doctor because I wanted to help people, not lead them. But as I progressed in the hospital, later becoming the sole doctor in charge of the outpatient HIV clinic attached to the hospital, I could no longer sit back and go with the flow.
It started simply with me looking for ways to make a difference in the clinic. I wanted to improve the HIV knowledge of the intern doctors, nurses and counsellors I worked with, I wanted the patients to better understand their disease and its treatment, and I wanted to advocate for better quality HIV care in the rest of the hospital. While doing this, I realised the importance, and indeed the joys, of leading my team towards our goal of improved patient care. I started leading a small weekly discussion group with the nurses, where we discussed clinical aspects of HIV care, and I was able to teach and answer their questions. I asked the lay counsellors to sit in on some patient consultations, in order to mentor them on important topics to cover when counselling and educating patients. I also prepared and presented the latest HIV guidelines for doctors in the Paediatrics and Obstetrics departments in the hospital. These actions assisted in improving our patient care and left a lasting impact after I moved to my next position.
When I accepted my current position as Medical Advisor for XXX, I knew that my leadership skills were going to be tested. As the Developmental Support Partner in the rural YYY Province of South Africa, XXX is tasked with supporting the Department of Health in developing and improving the HIV and Tuberculosis program in the district. Liaising with the Program Leads in our head office in Johannesburg, I am responsible for leading many of the paediatric HIV, adult HIV and tuberculosis activities that we are busy with, including a large TB screening quality improvement plan. I have abundant opportunities to influence colleagues by teaching them during one on one mentorship sessions as well as formal trainings and clinical forums. I also participate in the provincial Clinical Advisory Group, and I took part in finalising the District Improvement Plan earlier this year.
My main aim is to lead and inspire other health care workers to strive towards expanding the HIV and TB program in South Africa, diagnosing those affected earlier, and offering them high quality treatment options.
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*I'm not so sure about the second part of the essay. Too much detail or not enough? Also not sure if the closing paragraph is strong enough. Advice will be much appreciated.