Welcome to FOCUS

FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women (FOCUS) is a dean-funded program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania designed to improve the recruitment, retention, advancement and leadership of women faculty, and to promote women’s health research.

FOCUS collaborates with other medical schools, universities, national committees, and Women in Medicine (WIM) programs in order to explore institutional change that fosters a more diverse faculty in the community of academic medicine.

FOCUS Program Overview & Summary (pdf download)

FOCUS initiatives include:

Benchmarks: Gender Statistics
A comprehensive biennial report on the gender distribution of Penn medical faculty by track, rank, department and leadership position since 1999. Data on faculty appointments, promotions and attrition rates are also included and compared with national statistics.

Lunchtime Seminar Series
Seminars that explore a broad range of topics, including current medical issues and controversies, women’s health research, and faculty development. The Series runs throughout the academic year and is open to all Penn medical faculty and instructors.

Annual Leadership Mentoring Conference
"Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine" is a day-long fall conference featuring nationally recognized guest speakers and workshops focusing on the professional needs of women in academic medicine.

Junior Faculty Investigator Award
An extramurally supported initiative that offers annual competitive seed grants to junior faculty investigators for pilot research related to women’s health.

Medical Student Fellowship in Women’s Health
An extramurally supported program that offers six-month stipends to medical students for full-time faculty-mentored research in women’s health.

Women’s Health Scholar Certificate
Jointly sponsored by FOCUS and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, this Certificate program provides medical students concentrated experiences in women's health spanning research, clinical training, and community outreach.

Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine
This annual FOCUS award recognizes a full-time female or male faculty member whose efforts and achievements have advanced the professional success, health care and/or overall quality of life for women at Penn Medicine.

Section for Women Residents & Fellows
WIM (women-in-medicine) programming tailored for women in training. This initiative provides women trainees with multiple annual networking opportunities via presentations and workshops focused on critical skills and resources for career advancement in academic medicine.

The NIH-TAC Trial (Transforming Academic Culture)
The work of the FOCUS leadership over the last fifteen years led to a unique, landmark intervention trial funded by a 4-year NIH-RO1 grant. FOCUS assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers to conduct this cluster‐randomized study within the School of Medicine.