Our refreshed Emerging Leaders programme
Our Emerging Leaders programme has been reinvigorated following the recommendation from the Kennedy Review which said we should:
‘Refresh the Emerging Leaders’ programme to reflect the commentary in this report – and expand to a pilot regional (diverse) cohort, working to the principle of developing diverse teams – rather than exclusive groups.’
Congratulations to the 13 talented surgeons who have been recruited to our Emerging Leaders programme. Applications for our next cohort will open this summer. We will be expanding the support we provide to all leaders, starting with an experienced leaders networking event this May for Emerging Leaders alumni.
Meet the Emerging Leaders of 2022
Nabeela AhmedOral and Maxillofacial Consultant
Why Nabeela applied
I am a newly appointed Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon based at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham where I have an interest in treating facial deformity; both developmental and that acquired as a result of trauma. I have an interest in teaching and hold a MMedSci (Med Ed). I recently spent two years in Australasia on a fellowship with my young family before returning to the UK in July 2021.
My interest in leadership roles is largely because of my own experiences of bullying and inappropriate behaviours whilst in surgical training – having also trained less than full time I am fully aware of the perceived (and real) challenges this can create.
This leadership programme will empower me to step up to the challenges of being a female surgical leader. The Kennedy Review has shown us what we need to do to make surgery more inclusive and I want to showcase that anyone can be a surgeon and the diversity that someone like me will bring to the workforce.
Meriem AmaroucheNeurosurgery Post-CCT Fellow
Why Meriem applied
Surgeons are no longer valued nor are they able to have a lasting impact based on their technical skills alone. In today’s healthcare institutions, management and leadership skills are just as important. Now on the verge of becoming a consultant neurosurgeon I am increasingly aware of my responsibilities towards my patients and also my colleagues and juniors.
I have applied to be an Emerging Leader because I think that the programme will empower me to take on the roles that will help me contribute towards making neurosurgery a more diverse and inclusive specialty.
Nicki BystrzonowskiPlastic Surgery Consultant
Why Nicki applied
Throughout my training and as a locum consultant I have taken personal responsibility for not just my surgical training but also to further my skills as a leader, manager and teacher, and have taken on a number of leadership roles.
I have realised how important it is to keep teams together, to encourage and support those around us and keep morale high. Throughout my training and as a consultant I am faced with situations that require me to be a leader. However, these skills are ones that are evolving and need to be adapted to different environments. I hope this fellowship will give me the platform and confidence to lead in a variety of situations, some of which may be more hostile.
I aspire to learn to be the best mentor I can for my juniors, to inspire them and to support them through their surgical careers, lead my department and to be able to sit on the RCS England Council to continue the excellent work and help to ensure the Kennedy Review is successful. I would like to meet women who have similar aspirations who I can learn from, exchange ideas with and where we can be champions for each other.
Sara DormanPaediatric Orthopaedic post-CCT Fellow
Why Sara applied
I want to make a difference; I want to make my voice heard. I want to learn to not be afraid that I am not the oldest, loudest or most confident person in the room but that my opinion in valid and worthwhile.
I recognise now that I will never progress to higher leadership roles until I feel happier in my own ‘qualifications’ and not be worried about my right to be there. I believe that this fellowship will help me address this and to harness the skills I have, to develop into a better leader and translate this into higher leadership.
Charlotte DugdaleOrthodontics Consultant
Why Charlotte applied
I applied for the Emerging Leaders programme as I wanted to be part of a network of supported and empowered people looking to take on challenges and promote inclusion and diversity not only at the College but in the NHS and further afield. I want to develop my leadership skills, understand better what it takes to drive meaningful change and enable the people around me.
I would like to develop skills on how to communicate better and influence and work as part of a team based on meritocracy. I am striving to become a compassionate, empathetic, productive and creative leader, and this starts with building a diverse and inclusive team. Understanding the limitations and pressures that face us all due to our sex, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic group will allow us all to start to level the playing field of opportunity, and create teams that will understand better the needs of our population and community. This starts with me, and taking opportunities like the Emerging Leaders Fellowship.
Rebecca FishColorectal and Peritoneal Consultant
Why Rebecca applied
As a surgeon, my primary responsibility is to my patients. It is essential that I have both the skills and opportunity to ensure that the environment I work in is optimised to deliver the best care to my patients.
At a local level, this includes ensuring through effective leadership that everyone involved in delivering care for patients understands what is expected and feels empowered to speak up or act if they feel something can be improved on.
On a national level, we have a responsibility as a profession to advocate for the best care for our patients within the wider social and political landscape, through our professional bodies including the Royal Colleges. This includes not only advocating for resources and setting standards, but also ensuring the future of the workforce by ensuring all surgeons feel valued and represented and therefore better able to provide excellent patient care.
As well as being an invaluable opportunity to meet and work with a dynamic group of women across a variety of surgical specialties, the Emerging Leaders programme will help me develop leadership skills and techniques beyond those I am already comfortable with, to enable me to effectively drive collaboration between all stakeholders to deliver compassionate and responsive patient care.
Sana LuqmaniST5 in Orthodontics (post-CCST)
Why Sana applied
I almost didn't apply for the programme as I was unsure how it would fit into my already busy schedule. However, after speaking to the lovely staff at RCS England I was convinced that this programme would be instrumental in establishing myself in a leadership role in the future where I am able to challenge the culture of prejudice and discrimination many of us face in our working lives. As a Muslim female of colour I often find that we are under-represented in leadership and in our working lives face unconscious bias as well as overt prejudice and discrimination.
My vision is for healthcare to be an inclusive profession and inviting for bright minds from all communities and backgrounds.
I am particularly looking forward to networking with the other candidates on this course, current and previous, and to hear about challenges they have faced in the workplace. I feel knowing the challenges of your colleagues, staff and patients is essential for forming all-inclusive policies in healthcare.
Hannah MapleTransplant Surgery, Locum Consultant
Why Hannah applied
I applied for the Emerging Leaders Programme for the educational, mentorship and networking opportunities it affords. I am at the stage of my career where I am transitioning into independence clinically, academically, and managerially. I have recently become a locum consultant transplant surgeon in a large central London teaching hospital and intend to pursue an academic surgical career. I am also the elected chair of ELPAT – a section of the European Society for Organ Transplantation dedicated to the Ethical, Legal and Psychosocial aspects of Transplantation.
I am hoping this fellowship will build my knowledge and not only help me gain confidence in leadership roles, but also in developing my own leadership style.
Gráinne McKennaNeurosurgery Consultant
Why Gráinne applied
As an early career consultant neurosurgeon I recognise the need for more diverse leadership in the NHS, particularly within the field of surgery, and my own specialty, neurosurgery. The Emerging Leaders Fellowship presents a unique opportunity to network with contemporary female surgeons from across the UK; to share experiences and learn from one another, in order to better serve the teams we lead.
With my background in medical education, I aspire to undertake education leadership roles in the future, and I hope to take advantage of the opportunities for mentorship and formal leadership training, as I play my part in promoting diversity in surgery and neurosurgery, both as a role model and an activist.
Kersten Morgan BatesST7 in Vascular Surgery
Kersten Morgan Bates
Why Kersten applied
I wanted to participate in the emerging leaders programme as I think it is a unique way of connecting with other inspiring women in surgery. I hope that the programme enables me to enhance my leadership skills in my peri-CCT period and provide me with the skills to take on more leadership roles in my consultant practice. It is also a wonderful opportunity to access opportunities within the College and to better understand how various College committees work.
Saba Raza-KnightSpecialty Trainee in Neurosurgery
Why Saba applied
I am a neurosurgery registrar, currently based at the Royal Preston Hospital. Prior to my surgical training, I completed an MB PhD in developmental biology and remain active in clinical research and medical education.
I had two children early in my surgical training, and currently train less than full time. As a parent carer, I am interested in disability rights and advocacy for patients and surgeons.
I applied to be an Emerging Leader to better understand how surgical education and less than full time training are influenced at a College level. The programme also provides an opportunity to diversify the representation of surgeons within the College. I'm excited to network with other women surgeons to share and learn from each others’ experiences.
Clare Josephine TollanNational Oncoplastic Breast TIG Fellow
Clare Josephine Tollan
Why Claire Josephine applied
I am at a point in my career where I hope to increasingly have and create opportunities where effective leadership can make a positive difference to the health service, my colleagues and most importantly patients.
I feel strongly about diversity and inclusion and I am enthused by the College’s commitment to this. The Emerging Leaders programme is a valuable mentorship and network, and an opportunity to contribute in the future.
About the programme
As a surgeon, there are a number of leadership opportunities available to you throughout your career. For many surgeons, however, imposter syndrome, fear of the unknown and other responsibilities can stop you from applying to roles that you have great potential to excel in.
The Emerging Leaders programme aims to encourage women to become familiar with, and subsequently apply for, leadership roles within the surgical and healthcare profession.
Targeted at senior specialty trainees, senior SAS doctors and new consultants, the programme supports women whose environment means they are struggling to find their leadership style and voice. We provide opportunities and exposure that participants may not otherwise be able to access.
- Governance roles where they can influence strategy setting and planning, such as Council member at RCS England, a specialist association or professional body;
- Clinical lead roles at RCS England, or clinical or educational governance responsibility in their employing trust, where they can lead clinical teams and direct patient care.
The programme provides participants with:
- An understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved in leadership;
- An opportunity to develop their own leadership style and build confidence;
- Support in overcoming the challenges of progression into leadership;
- The opportunity to meet and engage with senior leaders at RCS England and in the surgical profession;
- Access to high-profile meetings at RCS England, such as Council and Standing Committee meetings;
- A chance to get involved in a variety of RCS England activities of personal interest;
- Access to mentors from inside the surgical profession;
- Access to an alumnae network.
I was really pleased to be awarded the Lady Estelle Wolfson Emerging Leaders Fellowship but did not know what to expect. I have had an amazing opportunity to gain insight into the processes involved in various committees at the College and I intend to become more actively involved in the future. I have met some incredible and inspiring surgeons and found this a really enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Kathryn Taylor, 2018–19
- Complete eight e-learning modules – around two hours learning time, accompanied by forums to share thinking.
- Attend two workshops.
- Identify your development needs and connect with potential mentors.
- Follow up opportunities to become involved in governance and clinical lead roles at RCS England or your employing trust.
- Attend the Women in Surgery (WinS) conference or a similar event.
- Act as a mentor to year one participants and contribute to an alumnae network.
- Strengthen your own support network and impact in leadership roles.
- Contribute to the WinS conference or a similar event.
- Contribute to an evaluation of the programme’s impact on your career and development as a surgical leader. This may include interviews, podcasts, webinars and presentations.
Beyond year 2
- Continue to act as a mentor to other participants or alumnae.
Laura Gartshore, 2018–19
Further information and queries
You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We will endeavour to reply to you as soon as possible. Usually this is within a couple of days. Please note we do not work weekends.
Call 020 7869 6300 to talk with a member of our team.
We are available to answer calls during our working hours of 8.30am–4:.0pm, Monday–Friday and there is a voicemail outside this time.