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Fall Leadership Mentoring Conference, 2014
(17th 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 17, 2014 (Friday)
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
Perelman Quadrangle, 3417 Spruce Street

*Registration Fee: $20
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 "2014 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.

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
  • Review the essentials and learn key techniques for clear and compelling communication as a leader
  • Explore opportunities for changes in one’s career and how to take action in the most optimal and strategic way
  • Consider advocacy and how it can be used as a launch to a leadership role
  • Learn about how gender specific medicine evolved in the United States
  • 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.


8:00 – 8:30

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45

Stephanie Abbuhl, Executive Director, FOCUS Program


8:45 – 10:45

Being Heard Clearly at the Leadership Table and Beyond (link to slides)
Susan Miller

In this workshop, you will master the basics of communicating as a leader. You will investigate how your eye contact, gestures and movement affect the quality of daily communications and how to read your listener’s body language. You will learn how to modulate your vocal tone, and about breath control and speaking rate to assure pleasant, compelling vocal production. You will learn strategies to help you present succinct meaningful messages. In this highly interactive conversation, you will discover the keys to being heard clearly.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Quickly gain their listener’s trust thru honest, engaging body language
  • Project their voices so that they are easily heard by audiences
  • Speak clearly and distinctly so that they are readily understood by listeners
  • Present succinct, meaningful messages

10:45 – 11:00



11:00 – 12:45

Risky Business - How You Can Enhance Your Career and Life
(link to slides)
Julie A. Freischlag

How should you evaluate new career opportunities that seem risky due to their novelty, power, expertise beyond your core training, or previous failure by others who took the leap to fulfill these roles? The timing of such career moves is key—often as crucial and essential as the opportunity itself. How can you be sure that your vision matches that of the leader who would be above you? And how can you know that sufficient resources exist to assure your success? Dr. Freischlag will share some tips and the benefits of taking these types of career risks while reflecting on various examples of changing culture and traditions accompanied by personal satisfaction which resulted from engaging in these kinds of “risky business.”

Following the lecture, small group discussion will focus on risk-taking possibilities that may be available for participants to consider, including how to identify and pursue exciting opportunities in one's career, as well as the benefits and challenges resulting from risks that have already been taken. Each group will then present a synopsis of their discussion with a few salient take home points for the overall group.


12:45 – 2:00


Award Presentation

2014 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine
Stephanie Abbuhl


2:00 – 3:15

Thirty Years of Gender-Specific Medicine: A Complex and Evolving Tale
(link to slides)
Marianne J. Legato

Dr. Legato will highlight the evolution and history of gender-specific medicine in the United States-- its genesis in the cardiovascular community and the issues with establishing credibility or conviction for the necessity of research in (and the practice of) gender specific medicine. She will also speak of her personal journey as a woman in academic medicine, of passionate advocacy to becoming a founder and proponent of this new science over the past three decades.

3:15 – 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.


Julie A. Freischlag, MD
Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences
Dean of the School of Medicine
University of California, Davis

Julie Freischlag

Julie A. Freischlag, MD is the Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. She oversees UC Davis Health System’s academic, research and clinical programs, including the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center. Dr. Freischlag is one of the most prominent leaders among the nation’s academic health centers. For more than 15 years, she has led education and training programs at top medical schools in her role as professor and chair of surgery and vascular surgery departments. Dr. Freischlag also has more than 30 years of experience leading patient-care services as chief of surgery or vascular surgery at nationally ranked hospitals. Before joining UC Davis Health System, she served as professor, chair of the surgery department and surgeon-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. She led initiatives to expand research, add specialty clinical services, improve patient-centered care and patient safety, redesign the surgical training program and enhance academic career paths for faculty. Dr. Freischlag received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois and a medical degree from Rush University Medical College in Chicago. She completed her surgical residency and vascular fellowship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Marianne J. Legato, MD, FACP
Founder and Director of the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine
Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Marianne LegatoMarianne J. Legato, MD, FACP is an internationally renowned academic, physician, author, lecturer, and pioneer in the field of gender-specific medicine. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato is also the Director of the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine, which she founded in 2006 as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. At its core, gender-specific medicine is the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato’s discoveries and those of her colleagues have led to a personalization of medicine that assists doctors worldwide in understanding the difference in normal function of men and women and in their sex-specific experiences of the same diseases. She began her work in gender-specific medicine by authoring the first book on women and heart disease, The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease, which won the Blakeslee Award of the American Heart Association. Because of this research, the cardiovascular community began to include women in clinical trials affirming the fact that the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of the same disease can be significantly different between the sexes. Convinced that the sex-specific differences in coronary artery disease were not unique, Dr. Legato began a wide-ranging survey of all medical specialties and published the first textbook on gender-specific medicine, The Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, now in its second edition. She also founded the first scientific journals publishing new studies in the field, The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine, and a newer version, Gender Medicine, both listed in the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine. Dr. Legato is the author of several other books for the lay public including What Women Need to Know (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Eve’s Rib (Harmony Books, 2002), Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (Rodale, 2005) and most recently Why Men Die First (Palgrave, 2008). Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date. As an internationally respected authority on gender medicine, Dr. Legato has chaired symposia and made keynote addresses to world congresses in gender-specific medicine in Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, Japan, South Korea, and Israel. She maintains the only gender-specific private practice in New York City, and she has earned recognition as one of the “Top Doctors in New York” by New York Magazine for the past 15 years.

Susan Miller, PhD, CCC
CEO and Founder, Voicetrainer, LLC

Susan MillerSusan Miller, PhD is principal and founder of Voicetrainer, LLC, a voice and communication consulting business, and specializes in refinement of the speaking voice and training in effective presentation. She writes and speaks about vocal power, vocal health, communication challenges and presenting with impact. For over 30 years, Dr. Miller has worked closely with individuals at all stages of their career, from corporate executives, government officials, broadcasters, scientists, physicians, academicians and international diplomats to entry-level associates and summer interns. She is a popular trainer and riveting speaker whose presentations, group seminars, and training programs have included topics on communicating confidently, using vocal power, developing a commanding presence, diminishing stage fright, diffusing conflict in the workplace, and maintaining vocal health. Dr. Miller is a nationally and internationally recognized communications and voice expert who has been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Voice of America, and NPR. Her prestigious client list includes the United States Congress, GAO, The World Bank, The Department of Defense, The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer, NBC, CBS, CNN, The International Monetary Fund, The Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic, Fannie Mae, and The Marriott Corporation, the Association of American Colleges, Georgetown University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Miller is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the Georgetown University Hospital, a scientific fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a certified speech-language pathologist. She is a member of the Voice Foundation and the Career Women’s Golf Association. Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Communication Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Hearing and Language Association. Dr. Miller has directed speech and hearing clinics at The Methodist Hospital - Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.