Getting Somewhere New Together: Increasing Our Capacity for Dialogue Across Differences

Journal of Women’s Health, Volume 30, Number 6, 2021

Organizational Savvy: Critical to Career Development in Academic Medicine

JOURNAL OF WOMEN’S HEALTH, Volume 28, Number 3 / 2019

Organizational savvy is critical to career development, but is rarely discussed as a learnable skill. Drawing on
>45 years of working closely with Academic Health Center professionals, the author offers an introduction to navigating organizational dynamics that will be especially valuable to women, as they tend to be less effectively mentored than men; mentors may also find this guide of use in coaching these skills. Common misconceptions that interfere with acquiring organizational savvy include assuming that academic medicine is a meritocracy, that hard work will assure success, and that disagreements are personal. People who learn to navigate com-petitive hierarchies are continuously expanding their understanding of significant events, of how their unit fits within the larger system, and of which constraints they can influence. Strategies suggested for developing a political compass focus on building relationships, learning from surprises and disappointments, facilitating dialogue with open-ended questions, and handling sensitive topics as they arise. The author opens with a case illustrating common new faculty dilemmas and closes with examples applying the mentioned recommendations. Becoming more organizationally savvy helps professionals advance not only their own careers but also improvements in their institutions.

Keywords: career development, faculty development, leadership development

Not Too Late to Reinvigorate: How Midcareer Faculty Can Continue Growing

Academic Medicine, Vol. 91, No. 12 / December 2016
The continuing engagement of midcareer faculty is critical to the functioning of academic health systems (AHSs). However, despite their strong desire for ongoing meaningful work, many midcareer faculty are at a standstill, with further promotion unlikely. Drawing on more than 40 years of working closely with AHS faculty, the author describes growth- promoting strategies that midcareer faculty can tailor to individual needs, including questions for personal reflection. Research on adult devel- opment and resilience indicates that reexamining commitments at this career stage is healthy and begins with individuals taking a fresh look at what they value most. When individuals shift attention from constraints to those aspects of themselves and their situations that they can modify, they often discern new possibilities and become more agile. AHSs also can do a great deal to assist faculty with adjustments inherent in this midlife stage, including incorporating into annual reviews assessment of a faculty member’s satisfaction with effort distribution; setting term limits on leadership roles to create more opportunities; and facilitating fresh ways of thinking about career success.

Why Do Women Hamper Other Women?

Journal of Women’s Health, Vol. 89, No. 8 / August 2014

How Men Can Excel as Mentors of Women

Academic Medicine, VVolume 23 / Number 5, 2014
Most male professionals have more experience mentoring men than they do mentoring women, and their male mentees progress further than their female mentees. Yet, in academic medicine, men have few forums in which to discuss the gender- related issues that they encounter. To address the gender-related questions that commonly arise, the author of this commentary offers perspectives and recommendations, consolidated from over 25 years of experience leading career and talent development programs, to assist men in successfully mentoring women. Her recommendations are organized around three questions: (1) How do women’s and men’s experiences in mentoring relationships tend to differ? (2) What interferes with the accurate evaluation of women’s skills? and (3) Is the current generation of female trainees still at a gender-related disadvantage? She argues that men’s ability to effectively mentor women depends to a great extent on their understanding of the challenges that women disproportionately face in developing their careers. Mentors who are skilled in adapting to the gender- related needs of mentees will contribute to women’s retention and development in academic medicine, enhance the leadership capacity of their organizations and the profession, and extend their own legacies.