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Survey Informing New Leadership and Business Programmes in 2024

A year-round programme will complement Leadership and Business Innovation Day at the 2024 Annual Congress.

Survey Informing New Leadership and Business Programmes in 2024
Stuart Hales
Stuart Hales
Published: Monday, June 3, 2024
“ Whether you’re looking to refine your skills in a private practice, lead more effectively in academic or public health settings, or simply improve the operational aspects of your clinical practice, our 2024 offerings are tailored to help you succeed. “

Specialist training and qualification in ophthalmology might seem to be a ticket to financial security, but judging from responses to a current survey, many eye surgeons need more knowledge on how to effectively establish and manage a business—whether it be their private practice (should they choose to enter one) or a public/academic hospital.

The survey, conducted by the ESCRS Leadership Development and Business Innovation Committee, is designed to reveal the challenges facing ophthalmologists today and identify topics for future education programmes. The survey questions include:

  • What is the one leadership skill you would like to improve?
  • What is the one business management skill you would like to improve?
  • If you were to attend a Leadership and Business Innovation programme this year, what topics would be of interest to you?
  • Which topics would be of interest to you for a weekend workshop in 2024? 

Financial literacy was the leadership skill that rated the highest (37.5%), while strategic planning (35%) and financial skills (29%) ranked highest and second highest among business management skills. More than half of respondents said they would attend a weekend workshop about business planning (53.8%) and financials for ophthalmologists (52.6%), and almost as many would attend a programme about financing a private practice in 2024.

“It’s clear we need to deliver a programme about business in healthcare, which will apply to those in private practice as well as those in government-funded practice,” says Paul Rosen, chair of the ESCRS Leadership Development and Business Innovation Committee. “We want to raise business standards in the public sector, but we also want to provide the necessary tools for people who want to develop their own private practice.”

The committee is planning an ambitious agenda for 2024 to address not only business and financial issues but also topics such as value-based healthcare and factors that influence patients’ care decisions. Two intensive weekend workshops and four podcasts are being lined up to support these learning objectives. The first podcast, which features David Lockington and Julien Buratto and focuses on achieving work-life balance and mentorship, will aim to provide practical advice and strategies to maintain personal well-being while managing professional responsibilities.

Additionally, on Sunday at the ESCRS Annual Congress in Barcelona, the LDBI Committee will (1) host a day-long programme geared towards practice administrators and clinic teams and (2) co-sponsor a lunchtime workshop with ESONT (European Society of Ophthalmic Nurses and Technicians) on successfully implementing innovative technology in your practice. (Space will be limited, and registration will be available through the Annual Congress registration website. Lunch will be provided.)

“With the help of the workshops, webinars, podcasts, and videos that will be conducted throughout the year—and the comprehensive programme at the Annual Congress—we believe we will be building a cohesive story,” says Basak Bostanci, another committee member. “We will also use social media to actively improve awareness in the LDBI programme.”

The survey has also revealed a high degree of interest in mentoring and in a “mini-MBA” programme. Although the latter is especially challenging—“We’ve looked at that over the years, and it’s expensive to offer,” Rosen says—the committee is considering a streamlined certificate focused on leadership, which would offer essential business management skills at a fraction of the cost. To further reduce financial barriers for participants, the committee is investigating potential funding opportunities.

Together, the offerings in store for 2024 are intended to equip doctors at any stage of their career with essential business and leadership skills relevant to public, private, and academic practices. These skills are crucial for those aiming to establish or manage a private practice, lead in university settings, or enhance operational efficiency in public healthcare environments.

“Ophthalmologists should approach their public-sector practices with the same business acumen required in private practices,” says Artemis Matsou, another committee member. “The principles of efficient management are universal, whether in the public or private sector. Our aim is to provide the necessary leadership and management skills for both.”


Scan here to access the survey.


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