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Special Communication
August 2016

Key Tenets of Effective Surgery Leadership: Perspectives From the Society of Surgical Chairs Mentorship Sessions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 2School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 3University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 4Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk
  • 5School of Medicine, Washington University in St Louis, Missouri
  • 6Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
  • 7Oregon Health and Science University, Portland
  • 8Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 9University of Washington, Seattle
  • 10University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
  • 11Albany Medical College, Albany, New York
  • 12College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(8):768-770. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.0405

This Special Communication summarizes the key points raised at the Society of Surgical Chairs mentorship panel sessions held at the 2014 and 2015 annual meetings of the society. Highlights of these expert panel discussions include senior chairs’ insights into successfully dealing with increasingly complex academic medical organizations and horizontal department management expectations in the context of the arrival of the Millennial Generation into the work force. Three key tenets of effective surgery leadership that arose from these sessions deal with the importance of (1) collaboration and cooperativity, (2) humanized relationships and mentorship, and (3) operational efficiency. Overall, the panel consensus for the future of surgery leadership was optimistic while recognizing that the demands of chairmanship are considerable.