A distinguished health care leader and an accomplished physician, Dr. Gustavo Stringel serves as surgeon-in-chief and director of pediatric and minimally-invasive surgery at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York. Gustavo Stringel holds a master of business administration and has earned the prestigious Certified Physician Executive designation from the American College of Physician Executives. 

Established in 1975, the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) is the world’s most prominent association for physicians who fulfill leadership and management roles. The ACPE has more than 10,000 members in 46 countries. The group’s membership includes allopathic and osteopathic physicians, podiatrists, and dentists. The ACPE provides opportunities for its members to develop and enhance their supervisory and administrative skills through continuing education and training, career counseling, and networking. Through its chartered corporation, the Certifying Commission in Medical Management, the ACPE also offers the Certified Physician Executive (CPE) distinction to physician executives who have consistently displayed excellence in their professional life.

To attain the CPE status, a licensed medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy must hold board certification and one year of management experience. In addition, they must possess three years of clinical experience following residency and fellowship as well as a management degree or 150 hours of verified management education. Physicians are also required to complete a rigorous four-day certification program. In a competitive health care marketplace, the Certified Physician Executive credential shows a strong commitment to innovative and knowledgeable leadership.
One of the most common ways that we measure experience is time spent performing a job or task. The measurement is especially true of individuals in the health care profession, where the first question a patient often asks is how long a doctor or surgeon has been practicing.

However, instead of the long 100-hour work week, many hospitals are mandating shorter work week hours for their residents and surgeons. The trend is not merely limited to the United States: England, Sweden, and other countries are also experimenting with shorter work weeks.

Experts propose several arguments in favor of shortening the work weeks, including a desire to reduce preventable and non-preventable errors. However, the fact remains that less time spent in the hospital means less time for a surgeon or resident to perfect his or her skills.

In an article published in the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Dr. Gustavo Stringel proposed five integrated approaches to make the most of a surgeon’s remaining work hours. They include reorganizing the educational system to account for an individual surgeon’s cognitive abilities and psychomotor skills, integrating effective feedback into a surgeon’s professional career, and making the use of simulators a bigger part of the surgeon’s training experience. Dr. Stringel also proposed taking a new look at how surgical residents are motivated, perhaps even borrowing from the business world, where motivation is a key issue.

Most of all, Dr. Stringel stressed the ongoing importance of being aware of the challenges inherent in a new system in which surgeons and residents are spending less time in the hospital, and in surgery, than their predecessors. The number of hours worked is an excellent way to measure a surgeon’s expertise, but it may not be the only way.

Dr. Gustavo Stringel's Blog