Annual Fall Conference

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Fall Leadership Mentoring Conference, 2015
(18th Annual )

Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine
(This conference is made possible through the generous funding of the Dean of the School of Medicine and a grant from the Trustees' Council of Penn Women)

Date: October 23, 2015 (Friday)
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
Perelman Quadrangle, 3417 Spruce Street

*Registration Fee: $25
Payment (cash or check* only please) at the event.

* Please make checks payable to "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania" and indicate in memo portion "2015 FOCUS Fall Conference."



Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine recognizes the importance of women in academic medicine and supports various initiatives that address recruitment, retention, promotion, and overall job satisfaction for women medical faculty. In 1997, with support from the School of Medicine, FOCUS expanded its original mission in order to address the national data that show that, relative to their male colleagues, women medical faculty are over-represented in the junior ranks and are less likely to attain promotion or tenure. The overall program, FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women, maintains a dual mission: to support the advancement and leadership of women in academic medicine, and to promote education and research in women's health and leadership.

Successful Strategies for Women in Academic Medicine, our fall leadership mentoring conference, is open to all women in academic medicine at the University of Pennsylvania: MDs, PhDs, faculty, fellows, instructors, lecturers, and residents. Women in any rank or track or department are welcome to attend. In addition to providing a daylong opportunity to learn from nationally renowned experts and leading women in academic medicine about professional development and career strategies, this forum also provides opportunities for skill building and facilitates networking and mentoring relationships.

Upon completion of this year's conference, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss current trends, challenges and opportunities in academic medicine
  • Recognize the critical targets for needed culture change in academic medicine and how to serve as an advocate
  • Confront the realities of social media in academic medicine: consider its rapid growth, implications and potential benefits; and, learn skills to manage it
  • Explore leadership strategies along the academic medicine career trajectory
  • Establish networking relationships that foster support, growth and professional success

AUDIENCE:This event is open to all women Penn women in academic medicine in any rank, track, department or division. This includes faculty, instructors, lecturers, fellows and residents; MDs & PhDs; all are welcome and encouraged to attend.


["Pearls" that women faculty reported following the networking exercise during lunch at the 2015 Fall Conference]

8:00 - 8:30

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 8:45

Stephanie Abbuhl, Executive Director, FOCUS Program


8:45 - 10:00

Eliminating the Gender Leadership Gap in Academic Medicine: 50/50 by 2020
Hannah Valantine (click for pdf of slides)

Although women have received over half of the graduate degrees in biological sciences over the past two decades, they make up less than a third of independent scientists in academic institutions. Fewer still occupy leadership positions. Without proactive intervention now, equal representation of women biomedical science faculty nationwide will not occur for over 50 years. Research tells us that recruitment and retention are affected significantly by cultural, social, and psychological factors such as implicit bias and stereotype threat, as well as by work-life imbalance. Dr. Valantine will present an overview of research-driven approaches to enhancing diversity, with a focus on addressing the culture of academic medicine.

10:00 - 10:15


10:15 - 11:45

Walking the Line between the Personal and the Professional: Boundary Management and the Role of Social Media

Nancy P. Rothbard

We all have multiple roles such as professional and personal roles that we engage in every day. Sometimes those roles are compatible with one another and are enriching. At other times they conflict with one another and are depleting. How we manage the boundary between professional and personal roles affects how we feel about our work and nonwork lives and how we are perceived by others. In this session, I will discuss this topic and research on it as well as focus on a new technology that is changing the way we live and work – online social media. Whether and how we engage with online social media has implications for our ability to manage the boundary between our professional and personal lives and has an impact on the way we work and how we are regarded by others. We will also discuss strategies for managing the personal-professional boundary via online social media.


11:45 - 1:15

1:15 - 1:45


Networking at Tables

Gail Morrison
Senior Vice Dean for Education, Perelman School of Medicine

Award Presentation
2015 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine
Stephanie Abbuhl


1:45 - 3:00

Thriving in Academic Medicine: Trust, Shoes, and the End of the Week
Katrina A. Armstrong (click for pdf of slides)

Join Dr. Armstrong for a lively and interactive discussion regarding lessons learned in how to build a career as a leader in academic medicine. A window to what she has found --moving from Hopkins to Penn and up north to Harvard-- what really matters most: the importance of seeking and creating trust; the role of empathy as a leader; and how to incorporate these perspectives across the sectors of work and life to clarify priorities and goals and ultimately to thrive in academic medicine.

3:00 - 3:30

Wrap Up/Feedback on Conference

Stephanie Abbuhl



A grant to FOCUS from the Trustees' Council of Penn Women has been dedicated toward our guest speaker honoraria and expense.


Hannah ValantineHannah Valantine, MD, MRCP, FACC
Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
National Institutes of Health

Hannah Valantine is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) inaugural Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, and a Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program at NHLBI.Prior to starting this position in April 2014, Dr. Valantine was Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Leadership at the Stanford University School of Medicine (CA), a leadership position she held since November 2004. She is nationally recognized for her transformative approaches to diversity, and is a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce. While at Stanford, she also pioneered the Academic Biomedical Career Customization model to better align the academic workplace with the needs of faculty in the twenty-first century, for which Stanford gained national recognition as the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility. Dr. Valantine has maintained an active clinical research program that continues to yield high impact transformations in patient care. She was the PI for an NIH-funded study in which she proposed (and confirmed) that the organ transplant is essentially a genome transplant, and that monitoring the level of donor DNA in the recipient’s blood as a marker of organ damage will detect early stages of rejection, published in Science Translational Medicine (June, 2014). Dr. Valantine has been the recipient of several research grants from the NIH and AHA, and has authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals including NEJM, PNAS, Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Circulation, Transplantation, Journal of Heart & Lung Transplant, 10 book chapters, and has been invited to be a presenter at over 100 lectures. She has served on many editorial boards including Journal of Heart & Lung Transplant, Transplantation and Circulation. 

Katrina ArmstrongKatrina A. Armstrong MD MSCE
Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE,
became the physician-in-chief of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Medicine in April 2013. Trained as a primary care physician, Dr. Armstrong is an internationally recognized investigator in the areas of medical decision-making, quality of care and cancer prevention and outcomes. A graduate of Yale University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Armstrong completed her internship, residency and chief residency in medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She joined the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 as a physician-scientist fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She was appointed chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center and the co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Penn before her move to MGH. Her research program spans several multi-disciplinary centers including the NCI funded Center for Innovation in Personalized Cancer Screening and Center for Comparative Effectiveness of Genomic Medicine and a recently funded center to examine the impact of genomics on cancer disparities. Her many awards and honors include the 2011 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine from the Perelman School of Medicine and election to the Institute of Medicine.

Nancy RothbardNancy P. Rothbard, PhD
David Pottruck Professor
Professor of Management
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

Nancy Rothbard is the David Pottruck Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania where she has been on the faculty since Fall, 2000. Dr. Rothbard was previously on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and holds degrees from Brown University and the University of Michigan. She began her career in organizational behavior as a Research Associate and case writer at the Harvard Business School. She has published her research in top academic research journals in her field on topics such as work engagement, emotions, work-family balance, and diversity, her current research focuses on how technology is changing work, examining issues of online social networking and gamification. Her research has been discussed in general media outlets such as ABC News, NBC News, Business Week, CNN, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, New Yorker, US News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post among others. Professor Rothbard is an award winning scholar and teacher who brings the latest thought leadership to her research and teaching. In 2010, she won the teaching and curricular innovation award for her role in the redesign of the core leadership and teamwork course for all incoming Wharton MBA students. She has taught students ranging from undergraduates, to MBAs, PhD students and executives. She is also faculty director for several Wharton Executive Education programs that focus on leadership. Her personal website is: