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Lessons from the AAIM Women in Leadership Development Forum

On October 20, six women faculty, supported by the DOM, attended the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), Women in Leadership Development Forum. The program focused on practical skills development as well as on strategies for creating a supportive environment that allows diverse faculty to thrive. The skills workshops included Crucial Conversations, Resilience and Sustainability and Understanding and Dealing with Micro-Aggression.

Other presentations included a talk by Dr. Darilyn Moyer, executive vice president and CEO of American College of Physicians as well as panel discussions on “Turning Obstacles into Opportunity and Pathways to Promotion.” Materials from the conference can be accessed at:

Women faculty who attended the meeting offer these take-home points:

  1. Develop a “growth mindset”-seek out opportunities to develop skills. Invite feedback and coaching.
  2. “Failures mean you are not playing it safe”- take on “stretch” projects, ask for what you believe you deserve, say yes a bit more.
  3. Begin with the end in mind-identify long term goals, work toward achieving them.
  4. Identify your niche and grow it.
  5. On work-life integration-have one calendar that includes both professional and personal appointments. This signals to others that outside responsibilities are important and has the practical result of ensuring that you are not double booked.
  6. On resilience and sustainability-consider the level of autonomy you have with regard to what you do, when you do it, who you work with and how you work. The more autonomy you have the more sustainable your work life will be.
  7. On crucial conversations and negotiation-when facing a difficult issue, be aware of pre-existing assumptions, focus on the specific issue and goal, identify mutually beneficial outcomes.
  8. Start a peer mentoring group-create spaces to share experiences and advice among faculty at similar career stages and/or facing similar challenges.

The Women’s Task Force on Academic Careers in Medicine would like to thank the leadership team of the DOM for supporting registration, travel and accommodations.

-Rachel Levine, Associate Vice Chair for for Women's Careers in Academic Medicine


Kelsey Bennett