The inaugural Society of Asian Academic Surgeons Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy took place from Jan. 26-28, 2023 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The course consisted of sessions with current leaders in surgery, the Society of Asian Academic Surgeons leadership, and the experts in health leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions. Attendees had a unique opportunity to prepare for a future as a leader in academic medicine and to learn how to address the challenges uniquely faced by surgeon leaders. We look forward to seeing you in 2024 at the 2nd Annual Society of Asian Academic Surgeons Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy.
SAAS is happy to share program faculty and attendee reflections on the course after they participated:
I was so thrilled to be part of the faculty of this inaugural course which was developed to fulfill the mission of SAAS. I’ve attended several leadership courses over the years, this was high impact. I love learning new things and brought several pearls away with me that I’m already using! The decision to partner with the Dept of Health Services admin was brilliant as it provided a balance of academic experts with those of us practicing leadership on a daily basis- and speaking from our experience. Keeping the numbers limited allowed for a highly interactive environment and facilitated networking.
This was an incredible two-day course interfacing with healthcare administrative leaders, surgical chiefs, and chairs, along with a motivated set of selected surgical peers. The SAAS Executive Healthcare Leadership Academy didactics on standard competencies were really helpful and established a strong framework for discussion and thought. But the key element across these special events were the deep conversations, connections, and networking in surgery that will last a lifetime.
As this program was my first SAAS experience, I thought it was fantastic. It was a very collegial atmosphere. The faculty gave excellent presentations, shared personal experiences, and were approachable. There was an excellent balance between the formal activities of the leadership seminar and the social aspects of the event which were great for networking. I would highly recommend this program to anyone at any level looking to improve on leadership skills.
I had really no idea what to expect from this leadership course. The reason I participated was that I was curious about Dr. Chen’s leadership role at UAB from having seen…how he has been able to change the culture in a relatively short period of time at UAB Surgery. The course itself exceeded any expectations I could have had. I loved especially Dr. Lemak’s input and encouraging interactions. And the icing on the cake was Dr. Rogers, he is such a kind and compassionate individual… I would definitely recommend this course to all junior faculty. It is never too early to start thinking about leadership.
Impactful topics for a surgeon wanting to make that journey into leadership roles. All the faculty were top-notch and willing to stay to discuss their expertise. There was great networking. We met with surgical leaders from all over the country with common missions and goals. It was great hearing their career stories and struggles. The UAB surgery team also chose great venues to expand the time for meeting others. Hearing from SAAS leadership was inspiring. Asians in healthcare have a long way to go, and it will be through avenues like SAAS that the next generation of surgeons will have a chance to be equally represented in surgical leadership roles.