CNS Leadership in Healthcare Program

Succeeding in today’s complicated healthcare environment requires more than just surgical skill and clinical expertise. Neurosurgeons must also speak the language of hospital decision makers and develop skills to lead teams, or they risk surrendering control of their practice to those who step up as leaders.

In 2016, leaders on the CNS Executive Committee explored these challenges as part of an environmental scan with Medtronic. Both organizations recognized that the dynamics of today’s healthcare environment require more of a neurosurgeon than clinical expertise and surgical skill. The alignment of vision, synergy between the organizations’ resources, and a shared focus on moving neurosurgery forward led the organizations to the creation of a new pilot course on leadership in healthcare. The course empowers junior attending neurosurgeons with the information and skills needed to shape their own careers and lead their departments, groups, hospitals, and health systems in a time of rapid change.

The pilot course, jointly funded by Medtronic and the CNS, was held May 14–15, 2016, in Rosemont, Illinois. A group of 13 junior attending neurosurgeons, each of whom was nominated by leaders in organized neurosurgery, gathered for a two-day intensive training course that covered a breadth of leadership skills and business acumen critical to a neurosurgical leader.

During a follow-up session at the CNS Annual Meeting, each of the participants shared their progress to date on these challenges, provided feedback, and ideas for moving forward. Attendee evaluations and participant feedback for this new program have been outstanding, with 12 out of 12 respondents indicating they would recommend the program to a colleague.

The CNS Leadership in Healthcare Program is unlike anything available in our specialty today and we are excited about the impact our leadership fellows are going to have on their home institutions, the CNS, and the specialty as a whole. The next course is scheduled for May 19-20, 2017.