On Monday, February 13th, the world-renowned Dr. Paula Ferrada, Associate Professor of Trauma & Critical Care Surgery and Director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program at Virginia Commonwealth University hosted a webcast on "The Principles of Leadership for the Young Surgeon", in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons.

A very well-attended session, one of Dr. Ferrada's mentees wrote down some key takeaways:

  • You don't have to be at the top to influence people.

  • Ask Yourself: 'What would I do if I wasn't not afraid?'

  • Find your niche, and become an expert.

  • Confident people carry tools, not weapons. Look at constructive criticism as somebody investing in you, rather than a personal attack. Take it and learn.

  • Sit at the table and take the place you deserve.

  • Find and engage with mentors outside of your institution - get outside your sphere of direct influence.

  • Read and stay current - Find books on leadership and time management - they were written for a reason and well worth the time. Also, stay current on the top academic literature being published - the field is changing so fast that you can't afford to fall behind.

  • You CAN do it.

The one that resonated with the most with me was the last point - so simple, yet so empowering. Confidence is everything and when I've had it, I tend to stretch myself further, get out of my comfort zone and explore...that's where 90% of my growth (both personally & professionally) has occurred.

Here is a replay of the webcast if you missed it: