Aspiring orthopedic leaders should take these steps, says chief of surgery

The field of orthopedic surgery is full of aspiring leaders, but the path to that goal isn't always clear.

Andrew Green, MD, chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at Providence, R.I.-based University Orthopedics, surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital and director of the Providence-based Brown University Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship, joined "Becker's ASC Review Podcast" to talk about how young orthopedic surgeons can earn leadership positions.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

Question: What advice do you have for aspiring orthopedic surgeon leaders? 

Dr. Andrew Green: First, you have a finite amount of time where you're actually in a training setting, and you really should dedicate yourself to learning as much as you can. Get as much experience in the operating room, read as much as you can in textbooks. Maybe you get involved in some research to help understand that process. It's sort of cliche to talk about Malcolm Gladwell and the 10,000 hours, but that's how you get really good at what you do.

Then, it's really important to be diligent. Available, affable, ability — the three A's. Be willing to see patients and be willing to say yes. Obviously you have to kind of find your life balance within that scope.

What you'll get out of your patient interactions is just the most rewarding thing you can imagine. Having patients praise you for what you do is really ego-boosting in terms of becoming a leader.

It's important to network and to have a strong mentor relationship with a couple of people who can help you and guide you.

But you have to understand that to become a leader of an orthopedic department, it's no longer just being a clinician. There's a lot of administrative aspects that you have to understand. 

You have to know deep down, is that what you want to do in life?

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