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July 1, 2020

Dissecting the Important Difference Between Good Surgeons and Good Leaders

Author Affiliations
  • 1Tufts Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Surg. Published online July 1, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0805

I have had an unconventional career. My professional life began as an assistant professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine almost 20 years ago. I was an active surgeon and faculty member who always accepted roles of increasing responsibilities. I was promoted to associate professor and began working with medical device companies as an educator and adviser. I served as medical director for a start-up company and then became the full-time corporate chief medical officer (CMO) at Covidien, which at the time was the world’s third largest medical device company. In 2015, Covidien was acquired by Medtronic in the largest transaction in the industry’s history. I had a front-row seat to this process, played an active role in it, and remained employed by Medtronic for 4 more years.

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