Leading change in Canadian military medicine: determinants of success, 1685-2016


This research explores wider issues of health and military medicine in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). A renewed emphasis upon force health protection is imperative for the CAF, whether on deployment abroad or at home.


Success in military force health protection has more to do with the creation of systems of knowledge, efficient organizations, and command responsibility for the implementation of best practices than it does with the development of novel medical technologies or treatments. To achieve success, military leaders, both commanders and senior medical personnel, must be able to lead change effectively to create these systems in their organizations. Even in recent times, military forces have suffered crippling preventable losses when public health best practices were not implemented properly. Yet at various times in Canadian history, certain military leaders achieved noteworthy success in force health protection by systemic implementation of best practices. This article uses concepts articulated in Canadian Armed Forces leadership publications, especially those related to institutional and strategic leadership, as the analytical framework to assess which determinants of military medical leadership might still be applicable today.

Full Reference

Leading change in Canadian military medicine: determinants of success, 1685-2016. Robert Engen and Allan English. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2016 2:1, 87-90.