In this new role all individual professional qualities, such as technical skills, clinical judgment and decision-making, are considered as granted. The new challenge is leadership.
In our days cardiac surgery is undergoing a transformation process: from the maverick and spectacular achievements of the last 10-20 years of the past century to a more sober and quality-driven surgery. The advancement of percutaneous interventions (like coronary stenting and transcatheter implants), as well as changes in the social perception of surgery challenge us. Despite patients getting older and more complex, we are expected to maintain the excellent results possibly without any complications. The ways to deal with this challenging environment are wise and careful clinical judgment, focus to a meticulous and versatile surgical technique (to reduce complications) and the increasing adoption of minimally invasive surgical approaches (to reduce the aggressiveness of surgery). All this requires for the whole team to be open, to accept the challenges as an impulse towards continuous improvement and to pluck up the courage to step out of the comfort zone. My role is to lead, to empower, to motivate and to support the team in this process. I am convinced it is worth the effort.