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Tips from the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar

In July, the department sponsored Dr. Wendy Bennett, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, to attend the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar in Englewood, Colorado.

Below are some helpful tips she learned from the seminar:

  1.  Become More Efficient–one way to improve e-mail management is called “Zero Inbox.” The goal is to have an empty inbox by the end of each day. You do this by deleting and filing. The filing system can be modified to meet your specific needs. For example, you might create a “Work in Progress” with sub-folders for each active project, including dates to keep you focused on upcoming events and deadlines. An “optional reading” folder might contain things you don’t have time to read now, but might read later. For more tips on email, visit:
  2. Strike a Power Pose. Communication is very important, and body language influences both yourself and others. Adopting a “power pose” can boost confidence and performance. See social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s, “30 seconds on Power Poses”:
  3.  Effective Talent Management. One human resource strategy is called “ROWE” (Results Only Work Environment) where you focus what outcomes and results you want and then allow staff to figure out how to get there. One suggested book is “Multipliers”–about people who bring out the intelligence of others—a worthy goal of all good mentors.
  4.  Avoiding burnout and re-discovering my commitment to what I do that is bigger than me. At the beginning of the seminar, attendees took an adapted version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory, with questions about our level of satisfaction with being a clinician, colleague and mentor. After self-scoring our questionnaires, we stood up based on whether we scored in the high, medium or low burnout categories. I was shocked to see many faculty were in the high category. We then focused on re-discovering our work commitments. I thought about why I am a general interest, why I love (most of) my work, my colleagues and my patients. I also thought about Dr. Frederick Brancati, our former division director, who died in 2013, and his motto for our division: “It’s all about the love.”

-Wendy Bennett, MD, MPH


Kelsey Bennett