Shiyoung Roh, MD | Surgical Leadership

Shiyoung Roh.

Shiyoung Roh, MD, is an ophthalmologist and surgeon at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Beth Israel Lahey Health. In 2020, after accepting the role of chair for the Division of Ophthalmology, Roh began looking for a program curriculum that offered the nontechnical executive skills she needed to excel as head of the department. 

Empowering Surgeons Beyond Clinical Expertise

For many surgeons, the intricacies of hospital economics and persuasive presentations are not taught alongside clinical skills. As Roh began a new leadership role, she quickly realized the importance of understanding hospital finances, business plans and break-even analysis, as well as crafting presentations that resonate with hospital stakeholders. 

After a colleague who had completed the Surgical Leadership Program recommended it, Roh enrolled. “In medical school, we’re trained for clinical and surgical procedures and outcomes,” she said. “But when I needed to make requests to a hospital, I realized how important it was to understand the finances of it.”

A Holistic Learning Approach

Roh found the program to be a cohesive educational journey. In addition to acquiring new leadership skills and business tools, she benefited from opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. “Even the application process was great because it helped me examine my strengths and weaknesses, so I knew where to focus when I started the course.” 

Appreciating the supportive and collaborative learning environment, Roh found that the program encouraged active participation. “Meeting so many fellow surgeons from all over the world was a highlight of the program,” she noted. “The network I formed with fellow surgeons fostered a vibrant learning community and continues to enrich my personal and professional life.” 

A Winning Business Plan

“Part of the reason I was interested in this course was that it culminated in a capstone project,” she explained. “It may seem like a big commitment, but the result is worth it.” Her capstone project was a chance to apply new skills and develop a cogent business plan that could be directly applied to her hospital. 

Roh’s project focused on securing crucial clinical and office space within her division, which several departments were vying for. “It was a great opportunity for me to create a presentation that clearly showed the financial rewards.” Armed with a compelling business plan, Roh presented it to her Department of Surgery Chair and the COO; she ultimately was approved for multiple examination rooms and office space. 

“What has helped me most in my new leadership role is understanding how all the indirect and direct costs of the hospital work,” she said. “Only with that knowledge can you successfully present the case to obtain new equipment or exam rooms.” 

Comprehensive with Practical Impact 

While the program is designed to empower surgical leaders to navigate the nuanced landscape of health care administration with precision and clarity, Roh’s journey also illustrates the practical impact. By applying new skills, she was able to effectively present the financial benefits, which became the differentiator in acquiring the coveted space. 

“The comprehensive nature and integrated structure of the curriculum was what I needed. It tied everything together and made an impact in both my career and my hospital.”