Leading a team of leaders

August 22, 2012

Dr. Claudio Martin, chair/chief and medical director, critical care at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and Western University, understands the true value that a cohesive team consisting of strong individuals can deliver.

He leads a large and diverse critical care program which includes a physician complement with members from various programs and specialties, as well as a dedicated team of nursing and allied health staff members. His incredible leadership of the critical care team has not only helped to advance the program, but has also netted him the inaugural President’s Award for Physician Leadership.

Launched this year, the President’s Award for Physician Leadership was established to honour the leadership legacy of the late Dr. Murray Girotti, a remarkable physician, teacher and leader at LHSC. The award recognizes physicians who demonstrate the many great leadership qualities Dr. Girotti exemplified.

“Having known Murray since the early days of my career when I was a resident in Toronto, made receiving this award all the more meaningful to me,” says Dr. Martin. “He was an open and committed leader who was respectful of everyone from patients to staff to fellow physicians. He continued to work diligently throughout his own personal medical challenges, garnering the utmost respect as he redirected his energy from surgery to trauma. Seeing someone so committed to bettering our hospital made it impossible to make excuses for why you couldn’t do something.”

Members of the critical care team who supported his nomination describe Dr. Martin as embodying those same qualities, vision, leadership and professionalism that Dr. Girotti exemplified. He too is known for his open-door policy, calm demeanour and consideration and acknowledgment of others.

“Receiving a leadership award like this is really as much a reflection of the team as it is of me,” says Dr. Martin. “To me a leader isn’t necessarily a manager – it’s an individual that has the ability to influence and I feel very fortunate to work with a team who are all leaders in their own right. I see myself as the facilitator and none of what we’ve accomplished to date could have happened without their input.”

From his instrumental work in developing the Critical Care Research Network, a Canadian collaborative of 40 community and academic critical care units, to his introduction of a formal mentorship program within the critical care physician team, Dr. Martin’s commitment to advancing LHSC’s vision of exceptional experiences, extraordinary people and engaging partnerships is evident in all that he does.

When asked what he hopes to accomplish in his role as a leader, Dr. Martin responded, “I’ve given myself a five-year-term to get the program on solid ground in terms of physician recruitment and to develop a couple of nationally-recognized core areas of excellence within critical care.”

Dr. Claudio Martin