Educational Leadership in Surgery

Subject MEDS90017 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 2, Hawthorn - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Intensive delivery

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (intensive delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

Students should expect to undertake a minimum of 120 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


University of Melbourne Commercial
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 442 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Australia


Subject Overview:

Characteristics of educational leadership will be explored, including theories of leadership from business and management. These include trait, contingency and transformative theories. Originally introduced in subject 1, these concepts are explored in detail in relation to their application in surgical education. Teaching will explore similarities and differences between the contexts in which the theories were evolved and the landscape of surgical education. Students will also explore the conditions required for effective educational leadership.

The subject will also consider ways in which leadership can be taught at all levels of medical and surgical education. As a surgical competency expected of all surgeons, there is currently little formal curricula activity to support acquisition of leadership in this profession.

Students who aspire to senior educational roles, influencing local, state and national policy in medical and surgical education will be given the opportunity to consider strategies for lobbying government and other change activities.

Centres of excellence in surgical education will be studied. Where are they? How did they emerge? We will study historical factors and trends in other professions to project future directions of surgical education.

This subject is also designed to promote reflection on educational scholarship. What is it? How can it be achieved? How can it be sustained? We examine the learning environments we provide for surgical trainees. How can these be integrated into curriculum development

The overall aims of this subject are:

  • To appreciate the role of scholarship in surgical education
  • To reflect on leadership and the ways in which it is (or is not) supported in medical and surgical curricula
  • To consider characteristics of effective surgical education leaders
  • To consider future directions for surgical education and training

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

  1. Define educational scholarship
  2. Discuss theoretical perspectives on leadership – trait, contingency and transformative
  3. Identify characteristics of effective leadership
  4. Apply these characteristics to the context of surgical education
  5. Discuss local, national and international trends in medical and surgical education
  6. Consider broader social, political and economic changes and their impact on surgical practice and training
  7. Predict future directions of surgical training and research
  • Debate (Participate in a debate) (Hurdle assessment on study day) In this assessment, students will participate in a formal debate on leadership. Students will be expected to have knowledge of formal debating, to demonstrate excellent verbal presentation skills and argument development. Content will draw on the literature and their experiences.
  • Presentation (15 minute verbal in online tutorial) (mid semester) 20%. In this assessment, students will make a presentation on a specified issue on surgical education scholarship and leadership. Presentations will be assessed for verbal skills, written materials and content.
  • Essay (Written reflection on the debate) – 1000 words (mid semester) 10%. In this assessment, students will reflect on the content and process (matter and method) of the debate.
  • Essay – 3500 words (end of semester) 70%. In this assessment, students will conduct a case study on educational leadership, locating their ‘educational leader’ within leadership theory.
Prescribed Texts:

Reading materials online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Application of leadership theory to teaching and learning
  • Be skilled communicators who can effectively articulate the role and teaching of leadership in education and clinical practice
  • Study skills related to a range of educational methods
  • Academic reading skills
  • Academic writing
  • Applying theory to practice
  • Reference manager skills
  • Work effectively within a small group
  • Learn independently
Links to further information:

IT requirements:

Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

  • MS Word
  • MS Powerpoint

All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
Master of Surgical Education

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