Vic Management Interns' blog

Blog posts by Victorian Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.

Oscar Chaffey
Oscar Chaffey

Health Management Interns, ACHSM

Transferrable skills - a clinician to manager's perspective (Kelvin Yap)

By Kelvin Yap

2nd Year Management Intern

Publication date: 2 Sep 2021

These are my top 3 “transferrable skills” that I have found important during my time as a health management intern:  

At some point in their careers, every clinician will have heard these two words, “transferrable skills”, but what do they really mean? For some of us, the ACHSM Health Management Internship Program is also a platform for transition from clinician to health manager.

As a Health Management Intern, the work we do on a day to day basis can vary significantly. We could be analysing data for health service planning to screening visitors at the entrance of a hospital for COVID-19.

I must admit when I started the program, I did have a slight worry that the clinical skills I took years to develop would not be useful at all, after all, how would my knowledge of the physiology of the larynx or function of the lobes of the brain help? It was not long before I realised that my years of clinical experience had also given me the necessary skills to excel in all of the types of work we do as a health management intern. How? “Transferrable skills”. I underestimated the value of skills that all clinicians develop on a daily basis, that not only help us perform our clinical work effectively, but are also significantly useful for any type of work or situation we face in health.  

  1. Communication

While this may sound simple, communication in health is often not straight forward and definitely something even a clinician would take time to develop! As clinicians, when we work with our patients and colleagues, we learn to tailor our communication styles to different groups of people, to deal with complaints, to actively listen, and to negotiate and influence others. These skills are equally important for stakeholder management on a day to day basis as a health management intern. Additionally, one of the biggest things I learnt as a clinician was the importance of Empathy. This was never lost on me, and something I believe to be a very important part of communication in health. 

  1. Time Management and Flexibility

As clinicians, we very often get inundated with work on a daily basis, and learning to prioritise tasks and managing large workloads was a very important skill to develop. However, clinicians also understand that situations can change very quickly and plans may need to be altered. As a health management intern, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself drawing upon my clinical experience and ability to adapt on daily basis. From managing work and university deadlines, to being pulled in to work in COVID response – these situations remind me of the dynamic and complex nature of health, and that we must be ready to adapt to change in order to deal with challenges effectively.

  1. Problem solving

Ultimately, what I have learnt is that to be effective working in any part of the health sector is to be effective at problem solving. Whether it’s a clinician treating a complex patient, or a health manager attempting to improve patient flow in the hospital, it is about finding solutions to the many challenges we face in health. So, how can we become effective at problem solving in health? We can learn to think flexibly, to be creative and innovative, and to always be open to continuous learning. These are three of the 16 Habits of Mind1, all of which I believe have been of great benefit to me as a health management intern. 


1Costa, A. & Kallick, B. (n.d.). What Are Habits of Mind? Retrieved 10 August 2021 from


Views are those of the individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management interns’ host organisations or employers.


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