The Surgical Leadership Program was designed with surgeons’ busy schedules in mind. It is anchored by three international 4-day workshops in London, Hong Kong and Boston, which aim to create interactive learning using Harvard's case method. Additional core teaching is delivered through interactive webinars delivered by international experts and more than 40 on-demand lectures, which you can view at your convenience. The course culminates with a personalized Capstone Project, enabling you to apply what you have learned in a context that advances your immediate and long-term goals in your home institution. This program features an innovative learning model that is structured around the needs of practicing surgeons.

This learning model includes:

Three four-day workshops:

Workshop 1:  Your choice of venue

  • Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA | September 15-18, 2020; or 
  • London, UK | October 12-15, 2020  

Workshop 2:  Your choice of venue

  • Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA | April 5-8, 2021; or
  • London, UK | May 17–20, 2021

Workshop 3: All participants convene in Boston, MA

  • Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA | September 10–13, 2020 


Workshops feature highly interactive teaching and skills-development experiences and faculty from Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Business School and surgical innovators at Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals.    

  • A comprehensive core curriculum that is presented in live lectures (at the workshops); on-demand, self-paced lectures; and live webinars
  • Group and individualized skills-development projects
Accreditation Statement

The Harvard Medical school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 30.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.*

*only applies towards on-demand lectures

  • Curriculum Highlights

    The Harvard Medical School Surgical Leadership Program provides cutting-edge education and development in diverse learning environments for international surgical leaders.


    Surgical Leadership and Executive Skills

    • Principles of leadership and management
    • Turning around failing organizations and leading organizational change
    • Personal leadership styles
    • Situational awareness
    • Communicating safely and efficiently in multidisciplinary teams
    • Difficult decision-making
    • Surgical crisis management
    • Assessing leadership behavior and outcomes
    • Giving feedback and conducting difficult conversations
    • Negotiation skills
    • Contract management
    • Creating a "just culture"
    • Understanding budgets and finances


    The Surgeon As an Entrepreneur and Innovator

    • Innovation theory in health care
    • Business-plan writing
    • Raising capital to develop and commercialize your innovations
    • Developing a startup company
    • Transforming ideas into products
    • Updates on new technologies in surgical practice
    • Designing medical apps
    • “Elevator pitch” development and delivery


    Legal Principles for Surgical Leaders

    • Iatrogenic harm
    • Contract law
    • Patent law, copyright and intellectual property
    • Litigation and medical defense
    • Responding to complaints
    • Duty of candor
    • How to write an adverse event report


    Communications, Motivation and Negotiation

    • Different approaches and when to choose them
    • Negotiation skills
    • Contract management
    • Influence without authority
    • How to initiate and nurture growth-promoting relationships
    • Conducting difficult conversations
    • Effective techniques for reaching favorable and win-win solutions


    Building and Promoting Your Personal Brand

    • How to develop and maintain a leadership posture
    • How to build influence within and beyond your organization


    Surgical Research and Education

    • Writing research grant applications
    • Funding a new clinical service
    • Developing a modern surgical curriculum
    • Raising sponsorship and endowments for academic purposes
    • Supervising research and academic mentorship
    • Assessment of surgical skills and behaviors
    • E-learning and digital resources for surgeons


    Quality, Safety and Improvement

    • State-of-the-art principles for quality and safety in surgery
    • Developing a culture of safety
    • Threat and error models from the aviation industry
    • Human factors in surgery
    • Value-based health care: measuring meaningful outcomes and accurate costs
    • Quality reporting tools
    • Reporting errors and leading root cause analyses
    • Mitigating intraoperative stress
    • The Learning Health System and the role of IT in surgical quality and safety
    • Efficient design and use of clinical databases and registries
  • Skills Development

    Group and Individual Skills-Development Activities 

    This program offers both group and individual skills-development activities to help you advance your surgical leadership objectives. These skills include:

    • Building and leading high-performing teams and organizations
    • Developing surgeons as entrepreneurs and innovators
    • Understanding costs and outcomes measurements
    • Adopting new technologies and developing apps to improve clinical practice
    • Crisis management, negotiation and conflict-resolution skills
    • Quality and safety theory and practice
    • Informatics, electronic medical records and data management skills
    • Writing research and grant proposals
    • Medical education and mentorship development
    • Developing your personal brand
    Personalized Capstone Project

    The capstone project allows participants to demonstrate creativity, innovation and proficiency in the knowledge and skills taught in the program.

    The objective of the capstone project is to develop and communicate a real-world intervention that can improve surgical practice. Each participant is required to write a business plan and deliver a three-minute elevator pitch to Harvard faculty as part of their capstone project.

    Examples of these real-world surgical improvement scenarios include:

    • Development or commercialization of a novel surgical device or innovation
    • Delivery of a new surgical curriculum for residency training
    • Implementation of a patient quality and safety intervention in the participant’s own institution

    Assignment of a Harvard Faculty Member

    Every participant of the Harvard Medical School Surgical Leadership Program will have access to a Harvard faculty member. These will be assigned by the program directors based on the faculty member's expertise and ability to provide specialist guidance.

    Your faculty member will provide guidance for your capstone project, including:

    • Assistance in choosing the focus for your project
    • Providing feedback at the outline phase of your project
    • Reviewing the first and final drafts of your project and providing guidance to help you optimize its value

Questions about the program?