Panel on leadership grapples with cultural change

“We need different kinds of instruments to be successful in doing an operation. The same is true in life,” said Julie A. Sosa, MD, MA, FACS, San Francisco, CA, in the virtual ACS Clinical Congress 2020 panel session Tools of Leadership Success, Tuesday, October 6.

The session examines basic principles of leadership, including promoting diversity and leading in different environments: operating room team, department, institution, organization, and community. The session will be available for on-demand viewing on the Clinical Congress website following the conference through December 31.

Patricia L. Turner, MD, FACS, MBA, Chicago, IL, Director, ACS Division of Member Services, describes the College’s commitment to growing a broader circle of leaders and creating a culture of inclusiveness. “Diversity is not a challenge, it is the solution as we embark on a more excellent and inclusive society,” she said. “It brings the capacity for innovation and advancement.”

Creating culture change is difficult, said Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, Winston-Salem, NC, from her vantage point as a health system CEO. Leading change necessitates vision, timing, and team buy-in. “You’re going to be part of the solution, but it’s not about you,” she said.

Dr. Sosa discusses how to measure and promote diversity, and why it matters. Citing a disturbing study on homophobia in medical teams, she asks, “What’s going on? On a day-to-day basis, microaggressions: unconscious bias in action.”

Selwyn O. Rogers, Jr., MD, FACS, Chicago, IL, shared lessons on credibility, authenticity, discomfort, and aligning institutional and community goals, which he learned developing a Level 1 trauma center at University of Chicago Medicine, in what was a relative trauma desert in an area plagued by concentrated firearm violence.

The session is based on the ACS Committee on Diversity and Inclusion’s podcast series, and is co-moderated by Shubhada M. Dhage, MD, FACS, New York, NY, and Robert D. Winfield, MD, FACS, Mission Hills, KS.