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Leadership in surgery

Doctor as leaderLeadership is extremely important within the surgical field, particularly when building your career and changing roles. Not only can you develop your leadership skills through attending RCS events and courses but also through working with us on our Council, leading within our networks and teaching or leading our courses. The opportunities are endless and empowering yourself to develop your skills will benefit you and those around you.

We have various programmes available for members throughout the year to help maximise your potential to become a good leader. Do ensure you check back throughout the year for current opportunities, and keep an eye on our member newsletter.


  • In partnership with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) the RCS has launched 2 one-day Introductions to leadership events in Manchester and London on 8 and 24 October 2019 respectively. The one-day programmes are aimed not only at surgeons of all career grades but the also the wider surgical team.It will give you the ideal introduction to surgical leadership, leadership career options, an understanding of the importance of teams ,how the NHS fits together, NHS politics, regulation, a panel discussion and networking opportunities. Find out more about the leadership event and book your place
  • The Educational Leadership Programme for Surgeons (ELPS) is a two-day education course specifically designed for senior staff who are currently or about to become surgical tutors. This interactive course will be held in London on 11 October and 29 November. You will develop different styles of leadership and learn the advanced skills and attitudes of an effective leader, manager, and mentor in a surgical environment.
  • Our Emerging Leaders Programme – A two year programme which aims to equip women and non-binary people in surgery with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes that will give them the confidence to apply for and secure surgical leadership roles, including those within the Royal College of Surgeons of England. To register your interest or find further information – please click the link above.
  • Undertaking your own research and study is also a very valuable way to maintain your skills. The Surgical Leadership guidance is an excellent resource aimed to serve as a practical guide for surgeons who lead teams or intend to grow their leadership skills in the surgical environment.This guide sets out the rationale for effective leadership and the recommended attributes and behaviors expected of the surgical leader. It provides standards and recommendations that can inform training, development and assessment of surgical leaders and leadership. Read the good practice guide to leadership.

 Current Regional Director roles

There are currently a range of opportunities to join the RCS in leadership positions including:

  • Regional Director, RCS East Midlands
  • Regional Director, RCS South Central (Wessex and Thames Valley)
  • Regional Director, RCS South East Coast (Kent, Surrey and Sussex)

Applications for the above posts are invited from consultants or SAS doctors working in the relevant region/devolved nation. The successful applicant will receive an induction programme and ongoing support.The RCS will pay travel expenses associated with the role. Find out more about outreach vacancies

'This has been a rewarding opportunity for me to engage with medical students, trainees, surgeons and healthcare providers. As a spokesperson for my region, I have been influential in implementing a successful programme of Never Event forums and surgical tutor inductions at the RCS. My role as Chair of the Regional Committee has opened up further opportunities, and most recently, I coordinated a visit to Sri Lanka to train international surgeons in RCS courses.' Andrew Miles, RCS Regional Director- South Central


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