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Leadership in cardiac surgery.
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Despite the efficacy of cardiac surgery, less invasive interventions with more uncertain long-term outcomes are increasingly challenging surgery as first-line treatment for several congenital, degenerative and ischemic cardiac diseases. The specialty must evolve if it is to ensure its future relevance. More importantly, it must evolve to ensure that future patients have access to treatments with proven long-term effectiveness. This cannot be achieved without dynamic leadership; however, our contention is that this is not enough. The demands of a modern surgical career and the importance of the task at hand are such that the serendipitous emergence of traditional charismatic leadership cannot be relied upon to deliver necessary change. We advocate systematic analysis and strategic leadership at a local, national and international level in four key areas: Clinical Care, Research, Education and Training, and Stakeholder Engagement. While we anticipate that exceptional individuals will continue to shape the future of our specialty, the creation of robust structures to deliver collective leadership in these key areas is of paramount importance.
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