Harvard Medical School Post-Graduate Certificate Program



The Harvard Medical School Surgical Leadership Program provides cutting-edge education and development in diverse learning environments for international surgical leaders.


Surgical Leadership and Executive Skills

  • Principles of leadership and management
  • Turning around failing organizations and leading organizational change
  • Personal leadership styles
  • Situational awareness
  • Communicating safely and efficiently in multidisciplinary teams
  • Difficult decision-making
  • Surgical crisis management
  • Assessing leadership behavior and outcomes
  • Giving feedback and conducting difficult conversations
  • Negotiation skills
  • Contract management
  • Creating a Just Culture
  • Understanding budgets and finances

The Surgeon as an Entrepreneur and Innovator

  • Innovation theory in healthcare
  • Business plan writing
  • Raising capital to develop and commercialize your innovations
  • Developing a start-up company
  • Transforming ideas into products
  • Updates on new technologies in surgical practice
  • Designing medical apps
  • “Elevator pitch” development and delivery

Legal Principles for Surgical Leaders

  • Iatrogenic harm
  • Contract law
  • Patent law, copyright and intellectual property
  • Litigation and medical defense
  • Responding to complaints
  • Duty of candor
  • How to write an adverse event report

Communications. Motivation. Negotiation.

  • Different approaches and when to choose them
  • Negotiation skills
  • Contract management
  • Influence without authority
  • How to initiate and nurture growth-promoting relationships
  • Conducting difficult conversations
  • Effective techniques for reaching favorable and win-win solutions

Building and Promoting Your Personal Brand

  • How to develop and maintain a leadership posture
  • How to build influence within and beyond your organization

Surgical Research and Education

  • Writing research grant applications
  • Funding a new clinical service
  • Developing a modern surgical curriculum
  • Raising sponsorship and endowments for academic purposes
  • Supervising research and academic mentorship
  • Assessment of surgical skills and behaviors
  • E-learning and digital resources for surgeons

Quality, Safety and Improvement

  • State-of-the-art principles for quality and safety in surgery
  • Developing a culture of safety
  • Threat and error models from the aviation industry
  • Human factors in surgery
  • Value-based healthcare: measuring meaningful outcomes and accurate costs
  • Quality reporting tools
  • Reporting errors and leading root cause analyses
  • Mitigating intra-operative stress
  • The Learning Health System and the role of IT in surgical quality and safety
  • Efficient design and use of clinical databases and registries
  • Choosing and implementing electronic medical records