Education, Medical; Mentors; Physicians, Women; Academic Medical Centers; Libraries, Medical
Library and Information Science
Purpose of program/study/research: To accelerate the advancement of women professionals at an academic medical center through creative collaboration.
Methodology (including study design, analysis, and evaluation): The UMass Medical School Women’s Faculty Committee (WFC) initiated a partnership with the medical library to compete successfully to host the traveling exhibition “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.” Concurrent with the 6-week exhibition, fifteen events brought local and nationally prominent women together for mentoring activities, an original dramatic production, and an awards luncheon for women faculty. Women featured in the exhibit as well as its Visiting Curator spoke at UMMS about their research and career challenges, read from their published works, and were featured at graduation and a regional medical society event.
Results: Application-writing and event planning sessions forged robust working relationships among top-ranking administrators, senior and junior faculty, and staff. The exhibition increased opportunities for administration, faculty, and students to understand the impact of women in medicine, their leadership potential, and historical contributions. It also generated new mentor/mentee relationships and grant-writing collaborations. The exhibition’s national recognition helped draw a larger, more diverse and gender-balanced audience (575+ people) to the events enhancing the visibility of the WFC, as evidenced by institutional funding for women faculty to attend the AAMC WIM professional development workshops and ELAM for the first time.
Conclusion(s): Creative partnerships, motivated by the opportunity to host “Changing the Face of Medicine,” produced greater than expected gains for women faculty, generating new awareness and understanding of women’s accomplishments and leadership potential. This partnership allowed for a wide range of multi-disciplinary efforts, strengthening networking across silos, and advancing the goals of women in an academic medical center.
Presented October 29, 2006 at AAMC 2006 Annaul Meeting, Seattle, WA.