Episode 13. Backstage with Martin McShane.


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Our second episode of 2021 is with Dr Martin McShane.

Martin is currently Chief Medical Officer at Optum, with over three decades of NHS experience in both frontline clinical services and management. He trained as a general and vascular surgeon, and then became a GP partner in an ex-mining community in Derbyshire.

In the early part of his career, he acquired substantial commissioning and executive management experience through fundholding, clinical chairmanship in commissioning organisations and as a PCT Chief Executive and Director. He then worked at a national level on the National Patient Safety Forum and as National Domain Director for Enhancing the Quality of Life for People with Long Term Conditions for NHS England.

It was a pleasure to speak to Martin, and share some of the fantastic leadership advice he gave me a few years ago that I've found really helpful.


  • Who he really is (3 mins)
  • Learning from failure (6.5 mins)
  • A life-changing event which turned him to general practice (12 mins)
  • When he felt he became a leader (15.5 mins)
  • Working at NHSE (20 mins)
  • The power of coaching (21 mins)
  • Feeling out of depth (26 mins)
  • Moving to Optum and what he's learnt there (30 mins)
  • The role of luck (35 mins)
  • Final 3 questions- an article, a role model, and top tips (38 mins)


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24 episodi