Keynote Speaker to Explore the Many Paths to Leadership

Physician-scientist advocates for everyone who wants a leadership role to have the opportunity.


Nausheen Jamal, MD, YPS Chair, and Maie St. John, MD, PhD
Nausheen Jamal, MD, YPS Chair, and Maie St. John, MD, PhD

Becoming a leader in your field is a worthy goal. But how do you get there? It turns out there’s more than one path to take, and Monday’s Keynote Speaker at the Young Physician’s Section will provide a roadmap to help physicians find their way.

Maie St. John, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Head & Neck Surgery at UCLA; Thomas C. Calcaterra, MD, Chair in Head and Neck Surgery; and co-director, UCLA Head and Neck Cancer Program, will present “Leadership: Many Roads, Common Vision,” 2:30 - 3:30 pm (PT), Monday. She will focus on the importance of recognizing that there is more than one way to a position of leadership.

“I want to be able to address questions people often have about seeking leadership positions,” said Dr. St. John. “Leadership comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes. I’m sharing some of my roads to various leadership positions and addressing what one can do if that’s their interest.”

YPS Chair Nausheen Jamal, MD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Edinburg, Texas, said Dr. St. John was chosen as a keynote speaker in line with this year’s theme of inclusive diversity, particularly in the area of leadership.

“Dr. St. John is an extraordinarily accomplished physician-scientist and an avid advocate for early career otolaryngologists, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds,” Dr. Jamal said. “Especially now as the chair of one of the most well-known departments of head and neck surgery in the country, she is a role model for so many otolaryngologists who dream of making a clinical, scientific, and even a positive moral impact in our field and in our greater communities.”

Dr. St. John said that while diversity will be a focus of her address, it’s important to note that diversity extends far beyond someone’s ethnic background and the color of their skin.

“Diversity is what gives us strength in leadership. That’s not a very narrow definition of diversity, that’s a broad definition of diversity,” she said. “I hope people can just come to (the section) and understand that there’s a path toward leadership for each person if that’s a path they choose to take. You have to learn to believe in yourself. Everyone should have the capacity and the opportunity to lead. It’s just a matter of thinking about how you want to do it.”

The idea of diversity, Dr. St. John said, is one that is both timely and timeless to address.

“We have to push the ‘all voices’ envelope,” she said.

In addition to her address, Dr. St. John said she wants to have an open forum where people can come with their questions and be engaged in discussion about various ways people can employ strategies for their leadership opportunities.

“If you want to be a leader,” she said. “No matter who you are, you should have the opportunity.”

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