Leadership & Management

Bridging Leaders Program

This program has been co-developed by the
McMaster Program for Faculty Development & McMaster Department of Medicine.

The ability to bridge between worlds as a leader is a must-have skill, but one that is rarely operationalized. For example, leaders in Canadian academic health sciences centres (AHSCs) are often invested in one of two sides: the university or hospital/health systems side. Rarely are the two worlds well bridged, and as a result there is a growing divide between the academics and the hospital administrators of our AHSCs. The solutions for most problems, however, often require both parties within the leadership of the AHSCs to have a deep empathy and understanding of each others’ priorities and interests.

We hope that this program can allow leaders who hold dual citizenship roles (e.g. teacher and researcher, hospital leader and academic faculty, clinician and scientist, or others) to work on reconciling their two sides and to find ways to collaboratively seek solutions that are win-win for all involved.  By participating in this program, we hope to help participants set the foundation to effectively lead in their academic, research, and clinical leadership roles.

$5500 CAD for Individuals outside of McMaster Community

$3500 CAD for Mac Faculty/Staff
$1800 CAD for Residents/Trainees/Fellows

Bridging Leaders Program
2023 Fall Cohort

📅 November 10, 2023 - January 19, 2024 

Main Learning Sessions

ZOOM Based – Friday, November 10, 2023, 1-5pm

In-Person – Saturday, November 11, 9 am-1:30 pm - Lunch provided.

ZOOM Based – Friday, December 8, 2023, 1-5pm

In-Person – Saturday, December 9, 2023,  9 am-1:30 pm – Lunch provided.

In-Person – Friday, January 19, 2 - 6 pm – Dinner provided. 

Additional Small Group Project Time will be asked of the team in the AM or PM on one of Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Overall Objectives

At the end of the program, participants will be able to:

"This leadership program is meant to take people who are citizens within our many organizations and empower them to see themselves as leaders for a new era of complexity. Balancing multiple roles and identities is difficult, and this program can help you navigate this complexity."

- Dr.  Ruth Chen
Acting Associate Dean,
Continuing Professional Development

Program Content

The following is a listing of the program content that participants will engage in over the duration of the Bridging Leaders Program.

Topic 1: Leading Self & Selves

Topic 2: One + Another

Topic 3: Teaming & Leading Others

Topic 4: Changing the System

Final Presentations

Each module is comprised of two parts:

Each individual will also be paired with an executive coach, and will take part in a total of 3 coaching sessions. This coach's job will be to help you unlock your leadership potential or help you wrestle with current leadership dilemmas.

Application portal now open

Program Specifics

Leading Self & Selves

Engage in discovering new facets about yourself and understanding your multiple roles and how this affects your leadership.

By the end of this session, individuals will be able to:

One + Another

Learn key strategies for relating to others.

By the end of this session, individuals will be able to:

"The Bridging Leaders Program is more than just a leadership course. It is an invitation for growth and an inspiration for change. Participating in this program provided me with the skills, connections, and confidence to dream big as a leader. This program has shaped me as a leader."

- Dr. Celina Lin
Assistant Professor / Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist
BLP Alumni, Returning Mentor

Teaming & Leading Others

Discover strategies for working with your local teams.

By the end of this session, individuals will be able to:

Changing the System

Discuss and learn about systems changes, and start thinking about how you can change your own environments.

By the end of this session, individuals will be able to:

"The Bridging Leaders Program has been invaluable in my development as a leader. This course helped me to develop a suitable Change Leadership Framework and enlist effective Coaching to help translate newly learned leadership skills to the elements of this framework. I would highly recommend this to emerging or existing leaders within Academic Health Science Centres.

- Graeme Matheson
Acting Executive Director, Regional Medical Associates
BLP Alumni, Returning Mentor

Showcase - Final Presentations

Showcase and share your local leadership project. 

By the end of this session, individuals will:

"The program provides a unique immersive theoretical and experience-centric approach to leadership skills development that facilitates an adaptable, yet fundamentally personal journey for the participants."

- Dr. Ted Xenodemetropoulos
Associate Professor, McMaster / Gastroenterologist
BLP Alumni, Returning Mentor

Executive Coaching

Why a leader may want to partner with a leadership coach…

Coaching is all about you. A coach is a partner in your effectiveness, success, development and fulfilment.

The Bridging Leaders Program includes 3 private confidential leadership coaching sessions for each participant. Coaching appointments will be scheduled between you and your assigned coach. You may find coaching helpful for:

Your Accountabilities

Applications are due October 16, 2023 for fall 2023 cohort. You may apply now for future iterations in advance and receive a notification for future cohorts.

Submit your application via our application portal at this link (click the button below to view the application portal for future iterations.).


McMaster University, Continuing Professional Development Program (CPD) is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) to provide CFPC Mainpro+ and RCPSC Maintenance of Certification (MOC) study credits for Continuing Medical Education. This one-credit-per-hour Group-Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the McMaster University Continuing Professional Development Program for up to 19 Mainpro+ credits.

This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by McMaster University Continuing Professional Development Program. You may claim a maximum of 19 MOC Section 1 hours (credits are automatically calculated). Through an agreement between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Medical Association, physicians may convert Royal College MOC credits to AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Information on the process to convert Royal College MOC credit to AMA credit can be found at www.ama-assn.org/go/internationalcme. Each attendee should only claim the hours they attended.

Program Director

John Donnellan, MD

Assistant Professor, Deparment of Radiology
Division Director, Pediatric Radiology, McMaster Children's Hospital

Favourite Leadership Quote

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” - Col. Chris Hadfield