Leadership development facilitated by the “sandwich” and related glaucoma fellowship programs

Victoria Liu, Rita Whitford, Karim F. Damji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate leadership training in the Sandwich Glaucoma Fellowship (SGF), a program in which fellows learn skills in a developed world institution and their home country to become leaders in glaucoma care. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is a retrospective, qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Participants of the SGF between 2007 and 2019 were provided a survey eliciting demographic information, leadership training exposure, development of leadership competencies and feedback for the fellowship program. Findings: Seven of nine alumni responded. The fellowship strongly impacted leadership competencies including integrity (8.8, 95% CI 7.8–9.8), work ethic (8.64, 95% CI 7.7–9.6) and empathy (8.6, 95% CI 7.7–9.5). A total of 85% of alumni indicated positive changes in their professional status and described an increasing role in mentorship of colleagues or residents as a result of new skills. Lack of formal leadership training was noted by three respondents. Informal mentorship equipped fellows practicing in regions of Sub Saharan Africa with competencies to rise in their own leadership and mentoring roles related to enhancing glaucoma management. Suggested higher-order learning objectives and a formal curriculum can be included to optimize leadership training catered to the individual fellow experience. Originality/value: Leadership is necessary in health care and specifically in the context of low- and middle-income countries to bring about sustainable developments. The SGF contains a unique “Sandwich” design, focusing on the acquisition of medical and leadership skills. This evaluation outlines successes and challenges of this, and similar fellowship programs. Other programs can use a similar model to promote the development of skills in partnership with the fellows’ home country to strengthen health-care leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-295
Number of pages16
JournalLeadership in Health Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Glaucoma management
  • Global health
  • Health education
  • Leadership
  • Ophthalmology


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