Leadership is a process of social inﬂuence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Successful leaders can predict the future and set the most suitable goals for organizations. Effective leadership among medical professionals is crucial for the efﬁcient performance of a healthcare system. Recently, as a result of various events and reports such as the ‘Bristol Inquiry’, and ‘To Err is Human’ by the Institute of Medicine, the healthcare organizations across different regions have emphasized the need for effective leadership at all levels within clinical and academic ﬁelds. Traditionally, leadership in clinical disciplines needed to display excellence in three areas: patient care, research and education.
Within the ﬁeld of surgery, the last decade has seen various transformations such as technology innovation, changes to training requirements, redistribution of working roles, multi-disciplinary collaboration and ﬁnancial challenges. Therefore, the current concept of leadership demands to set up agendas in line with the changing healthcare scenario. This entails identifying the needs and initiating changes to allow substantive development and implementation of up-to-date evidence. This article delineates the deﬁnition and concept of leadership in surgery. We identify the leadership attributes of surgeons and consider leadership training and assessment. We also consider future challenges and recommendations for the role of leadership in surgery.