Fellow-in-Training Series: Leadership Training Opens Doors for Career Growth

Aug 27, 2018

After qualifying as an anatomical pathologist in 2006, Robert Lukande, MB, ChB, MMed, was fired up to make a significant contribution to health care in his home country of Uganda.

“My conviction is that everything starts and ends in leadership,” says Dr. Lukande, who heads the Pathology Department in the College of Health Sciences at Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda.

So he embarked on learning as much as he could about leadership through reading and associating with exemplary leaders. He was invited to present a workshop at the National Institutes of Health, where he met ASCP CEO Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM, and ASCP Chief Medical Officer Dan A. Milner, Jr., MD, MSc(Epi), FASCP. The two ASCP leaders recognized his desire to improve pathology and laboratory medicine in Africa and invited him to attend the ASCP 2016 Annual Meeting, in Las Vegas.

It was there that he learned about the ASCP Leadership Institute and promptly enrolled in the program. The goal of the Leadership Institute is to increase leadership skills at all levels of an organization through teaching participants how to be more situationally effective by adapting their behavior, communication skills, and leadership styles appropriately.

Some of the courses that resonated deeply with Dr. Lukande include

  • Everything DISC, where he learned to adapt and stretch his preferred behavioral style to meet the needs of others and discovered how to recognize behavior patterns
  • Time mastery, which teaches participants to develop new habits in 12 time management categories
  • Groupthink, which provide insights into good group decision making.

Since completing the Leadership Institute, he has made significant advancements in his professional life. “These advances have come after recognition of my leadership potential by Makerere University,” Dr. Lukande says.  

He has taken over the leadership of the university’s Department of Pathology, led several initiatives in the College of Health Sciences, and continues to serve as president of the Association of Pathologists of East, Central and Southern Africa. “

“Leadership is a must for every physician in training if health care is to overcome its challenges,” Dr. Lukande says. “Younger pathologists who have yet to embrace leadership are missing out on innumerable benefits at personal and society levels.”

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