The art and science of leadership: Dr. Faisal Khosa offers inspiring words

Leadership takes many forms. That was one of the takeaways from a recent Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) Unique Lives in Medicine luncheon. The guest speaker was our colleague, Dr. Faisal Khosa, a VGH radiologist as well as an award-winning scholar, researcher, mentor and philosopher.

“What do all great leaders have in common,” Dr. Khosa challenged his audience. “They are beyond involved; they are fully committed. A good leader is like a candle that consumes itself to light a path for others.”

He went further.

“The leadership challenge in medicine is that, for most of our educational and professional lives, our success is directly proportional to someone else’s failure. To get into medical school, we compete with 5,000 people for 200 spaces. Later it’s competition for residency, fellowships and staff positions. Then, there’s competition as to who gets to work in Vancouver. But once we start a job, we’re expected to work cohesively, to see things from a win-win perspective, when win-lose at this point has become part of our DNA.”

Like the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative event he was speaking at, Dr. Khosa wants more of his colleagues to come to the table and be part of the conversations that lead to positive change.

“In life, if you do not opt to be at the table then you will remain in the menu, because the menu is the default,” he advises. “You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are, but you have to make that choice. You have to make a conscious choice coupled with effort to come to the table and become empowered. This is what the Facility Engagement Initiative wants for physicians. Engaging allows you to bring your heart and soul to your work and to return home happy with a sense of contribution and accomplishment.”

Be the change: Upcoming events

The VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative is working to bring more physicians, nursing and allied health staff together to connect, collaborate and care. Regular events are held for members to get to know one another and discuss issues of common interest.

Breakfast with Leaders: Ron Quirk, VCH Chief Information Officer, takes your questions on the role technology now plays and will soon play in our work. May 2, 7 – 8 am (breakfast provided); Tapestry Meeting Room #2; 2821 Heather Street. RSVP to by April 26.

Physician Wellness: Dr. Himat Vaghadia discusses his evidence-based approach to physician health and well-being. May 17 from noon to 1 pm (lunch provided); VGH Round Room, Jim Pattison Pavilion South, Level 2. RSVP to by May 11.

VPSA Engagement Event: Come and meet your physician colleagues! Do you have ideas for future VPSA wellness activities and community building events? We want to hear from you. May 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm (fully catered event); UBC Medical Student & Alumni Centre; 2750 Heather Street. . RSVP to by May 18.

For more information, visit the VPSA website.

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