Dean’s Corner – September


2018-19 School of Medicine Leadership Development Fellowship
Richard DiCarlo, M.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Institutional Affairs

The School of Medicine began a new program for selected faculty members in 2018-19: the Leadership Development Fellowship.  This program aims to provide faculty with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and experience.  It also aims to advance certain initiatives within the Dean’s Office.  While we are ‘starting small’ (we selected three faculty members this year), we hope that it proves to be a worthwhile program that grows over time.

Many schools have their own in-house leadership programs that are largely didactic in nature.  Participating faculty typically meet on Saturdays several times per year and have lectures on academic medicine, finance, clinical partnerships, conflict resolution, leadership qualities, etc.  A leadership ‘project’ is often a small part of these programs.  We wanted to emphasize direct mentorship and active involvement in an ongoing initiative within the school.

The program is open to faculty at the rank of Associate Professor or above.  After an application process, selected faculty work under the mentorship of an Associate Dean for 6 months.  This entails meeting weekly, attending Dean’s Staff Meetings, Administrative Council Meetings, and other functions as time allows.  Fellows also spend approximately one-half day per week on a project in the Dean’s Office, working under the guidance of their mentor.  In addition to this, we provide the Fellows with several AAMC monographs about Academic Medicine and leadership.

Although this was the first year of the program, there was considerable interest among the faculty and we received nine strong applications.  The three faculty selected were Dr. Randy Roig, Department of Medicine, Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Dr. Bradley Spieler, Department of Radiology; and Dr. Jason Mussell, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.

Dr. Roig is working with Dr. Charles Hilton, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  He is gathering data on current GME funding paradigms in Southeast Louisiana and assessing possibilities for new funding partnerships between clinical sites and sponsoring institutions.  Ultimately, this could lead to the development of new programs, particularly in fields currently underrepresented in our region.

Dr. Spieler will work with Dr. Sam McClugage, Associate Dean for Admissions and Dr. Cathy Lazarus, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  He is currently laying the groundwork for his project by gaining IRB approval and exploring available data sets.  He will develop an anonymized tracking system for longitudinal follow-up of students matriculating into medical school.  He will correlate metrics used in the admissions selection process with academic performance in medical school, professionalism, specialty selection, success in the match, performance after graduation, and other metrics.  Ultimately, this may inform the evaluation of prospective students during the selection process.

Dr. Mussell will work with me in the Office of Faculty and Institutional Affairs beginning in the spring semester.  He will collect and review promotions guidelines from a sample of peer and elite medical schools that have educator tracks for faculty promotion.  We will work with the Faculty Assembly, Appointments and Promotions Committee, Department Heads and others to develop guidelines that align with our school’s needs and history.  Ultimately, this may result in a new promotion pathway for both clinical and basic science faculty.

This is an exciting development for the school of medicine.  We hope that it will serve to improve the school with new programs and initiatives.  We also hope that individual faculty benefit in terms of career development and scholarship.  We have started with just a few faculty members this year.  I will depend on their input as we consider refining and expanding this program in future years.