The Department of Medicine, in an effort to support the professional development of women within the department, sponsored several faculty and trainees to attend virtual conferences, including the WIMSummit, September, 2021 and the Harvard Medical School Career Advancement and Leadership Skills for Women in Healthcare conference, November, 2021. Both conferences delivered a variety of professional development programming to help women at various stages of their careers succeed in leadership positions.
Rakhee Bhayani, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Forum for Women in Medicine, attended the WIMSummit conference and summarized her experience in a blog post that was featured in Doximity’s Op-Med, Voices from the Doximity Network. Read the blog post here.
Abby Spencer, MD, the department’s vice chair for education, led a session at the Harvard conference titled “How to Accelerate Your Promotion on a Medical Education Track”. Additional details about her presentation and agenda for the event are available here.
Special thanks to Dr. Fraser for sponsoring the attendees and to the DOM Office of the Vice Chair of Education, Advancing Women in Academic Medicine and the Forum for Women in Medicine for organizing the process. Attendees will be sharing more about their experiences in the months ahead. To follow is topline feedback from the faculty and trainees that attended:
What were some of your personal takeaways from the conference?
“Successful navigation of a career ascent is bolstered with emotional intelligence, a sine qua non of leadership.”
“Modeling empathetic communication and incorporating the 5 Cs: clear, concise, confident, credible, compelling, and collaborative in communication to create a personalized authentic style.”
“It is rare to get recognized or promoted because you do your job flawlessly. It is about taking a risk. Building a career is about taking risks. The one with the most risk has the highest return.”
“Expand your mentorship team outside of medicine as another added layer of diversity.”
“Pursuing the fun way rather than the efficient way leads to more perseverance.”
“The 4 factors to high achievers from @RuthGotian.” (intrinsic motivation, perseverance, strong foundation, continuous learning)
“Evaluate multiple ways to meet your goal, recognize hidden players and find integrative solutions.”
“Do an energy audit frequently – What drains you? What sustains you?”
“Expand your network to include people outside your profession.”
“Know yourself — your strengths and weaknesses, your ambitions and desires, so you can chart a course to fulfillment and control the narrative of your life. Too often I think we (especially women) get carried along with the current and do not necessarily wind up where we want to be or with what makes us truly happy.”
“Recognize how the world is built — you need to know your workplace, its mission and values, its structure, who controls the valued resources (power), who the stakeholders are — so you can better navigate it.”
“Give grace to yourself and to other women. We need to be kind to ourselves and allow ourselves to make mistakes and get tripped up without having that derail us. We also need to pull other women behind us along and push those ahead of us forward. A rising tide lifts us all.”
“Clarify your key mission/brand, and be able to clearly state it to others.”
“Women often credit luck for their good fortune, but we should recognize it is due to talent, intelligence, hard work, and taking advantage of the opportunities that come to us.”
“Lift others while you rise. Highlight and affirm other women during meetings, while writing manuscripts (reference them), and public events.”
“Be introspective- make a life plan.”
“Well-being is multifactorial and so is burnout prevention.”
“Be deliberate in amplifying and sponsoring”
“Commit your energy to activities you are passionate about.”
“Routinely revisit your ‘why’”
“A diverse and supportive mentorship circle is key.”
“Effective and quality mentorship and sponsorship are key to helping women become leaders and for promotion.”
“Our culture/environment needs to grow and develop to aid in women’s success not the other way around.”
“Strategic planning of manuscript type and journal choice including writing sections of manuscript throughout the project is highly important in fast tracking publishing. And don’t forget to NOT GIVE UP!”
How do you feel attending the conference will impact that work you are currently engaged in?
““It was an incredibly organized conference with great pearls for strategies to be a successful leader, effective mentor and provided advice on curating a circle of mentors/sponsors to strengthen my leadership dossier.”
“I found the Mentorship, Sponsorship, allyship lecture by Dr. Nancy Spector excellent and will definitely implement the strategies to support psychological wellness among the fellows and residents that I teach as well as mentor.”
“The negotiation skills learnt as well as unlocking my authenitic self to overcome impostor syndrome and using tools to overcome the inner critic were invaluable. The lecture by Dr. Abby Spencer on accelerating promotion on a medical education track was one of my favorites. Her quote “Legacy through people” will be etched forever. Dr. Deborah Saltman made a profound impact with her key principles for effective leadership in health care environments.”
“I attended the day 4 and it was very impactful. The session by the NIH Program officer provided great tips on the NIH resources as well as funding opportunities. The break-out sessions on bullet-proofing your manuscript before submission, guidance on writing a letter to the editor and publishing impactful editorials, perspectives and opinion articles were excellent.”
“Attending the WIM conference underscored the importance of always remembering my ‘why’ and further ignited my passion for building mentorship networks for URM trainees.”
“Implement skills learned in time management, strategies to increase publications, and principals of effective leadership in healthcare environment to improve clinical and academic outcomes.”
““Learn more in depth on the skills of planning and implementation of a program, center or institute.”
Foster the culture of mentorship and sponsorship within my environment at WU and focus on data driven strategic initiative to promote and support diversity.
“Given me clarity of thought about how to align my work with what my core values are.”
““Defined the importance of a coach and a mentoring team that I need to build.”
“First, I have been engaged in a lot of reflection. I am spending some time doing some soul searching to better articulate where I want to go in my career. This comes at an apt time because I have just become an empty nester and I feel like I have entered a new phase in my life. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a general re-evaluation for all of us. It changed so much about the world and how we live and work. It also laid bare the bitter divide different groups have on so many issues and brought into stark relief that people have very different values. We have to respect that if we are going to work together and move the world forward.”
“More pragmatically, it has made me aware of my responsibility to serve as a “spentor” (sponsor and mentor) to trainees and other women that I work with and the need for me to identify sponsors in addition to mentors for myself”
“As diversity/equity/inclusion is a core leadership competency, I will redouble my efforts to learn about it and to highlight and work towards it in every sphere.”
“The meeting gave perspective that the situations I see myself and others in as women in academic medicine are a shared experience, and that we can employ strategies to improve our situation, and help others work towards equity. “
“Be a better mentor and sponsor for junior colleagues.”
“On a personal level- more financially aware.”
“Rethinking my mentorship committee and the ‘echo chamber’.”
Emphasized the importance of strong mentorship, and strengthened my desire to support trainees as they develop their interests and pursue their goals.
Jessica Silva-Fisher, PhD, Oncology, attended Harvard Medical School Career Advancement and Leadership Skills for Women in Healthcare conference
“First and foremost, being able to see other highly successful women and women of color leaders is inspiring. Second, there was soo much information to take in and all highly useful for all levels and areas of leadership that it is difficult to narrow down only a couple of areas that I will implement moving forward! “
“Currently, as a leader in DEI and Co-Director of a new mentorship program for diverse trainees in our department (coming soon), learning about what is effective and quality mentoring including learning about program development was highly useful. I plan on implementing various methods to connect mentors to mentees, create a strategic plan, determine opportunities for growth, and take steps to measure our success. As an investigator and mentor, I also plan on speaking with my mentees to make sure our goals align, and we are getting what we need out of our mentor/mentee relationship to ensure that it is effective and high quality.”
“Additionally, in my scholarship for developing my career and focusing on promotion, I will begin to create open communications with my chair/section head with my goals and give them written yearly updates of my progress and activities, develop a brand and niche for myself using social media and connecting outside my university (within my field and wider community), and finally navigate (speak with section head, others gone through promotion) what is required for promotion so that I understand and am prepared when the time comes. I will also utilize the recommendations for fast tracking publishing which include using a project not only for 1 paper, but for multiple papers, collaborations, workshops, and review articles, to increase my publication record and connect with wider community.”