In our first episode with Dr. Emma Watson, the 2021–22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, we talked about the research she started on the challenges faced in rural Scotland and Rural America. This week, Emma is back to tell us about the results of her research into why effective leadership is so important.
“Be super proud of being a rural leader, or rural healthcare provider, or a rural community member because it’s an amazingly special thing to be.”
-Dr. Emma Watson
Professor Emma Watson MSc, FRCPath, FRCPEdis a 20/22UK Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice. A Consultant Medical Microbiologist by background and a senior clinical systems leader in Scotland, she is an expert in quality improvement and in medical education, and workforce planning.
Emma is now the Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, the organization charged with commissioning and delivering undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Scotland. Prior to her fellowship Emma was Deputy Medical Director at NHS Highland and held the clinical leadership for4 acute hospitals (3 of which are small rural hospitals) she was also a senior medical adviser in the Scottish Government. In both these roles, her focus was on developing innovative approaches to ensuring equitable access to high-quality healthcare services with a sustainable health and care workforce, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Emma has led a number of major change programs including the development of Scotland’s first graduate-entry medical school. Emma previously held a post in the Scottish Government as Clinical Lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Program during which time she ensured quality improvement methodology translated from the development of health policy and strategy through to implementation across the entirety of the Scottish healthcare system. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a patient safety program on a whole system basis at a national level. As Director of Medical Education in NHS Highland, she focused on delivering high-quality medical education as a tool to increase recruitment and attract young doctors to the region and ensuring there is now an established program to encourage young people from the area to go to medical school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the clinical response in her region and ensured there was a whole system approach to manage the impact of the virus.