Faculty Members Attend the AAMC Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar

By Dominique Alexis

Every year the AAMC hosts a three-day Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar to bring together junior faculty from all over the United States. This seminar is designed to provide participants with "real-world guidance and tools for pursuing career advancement in academic medicine, developing key professional competencies, building skills in grant writing and communications, and lastly expanding their network of colleagues and role models." This year the seminar was held in Phoenix, Arizona and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity provided travel awards to Kenisha Campbell, MD, MPH, an Assistant Professor specializing in adolescent medicine at CHOP. Dr. Campbell serves as Director of Adolescent Medicine Outpatient Services as well as the Medical Director of Adolescent Primary Care/Family Planning and Eduardo J. Mortani Barbosa Jr., MD is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and serves as the Director for Thoracic CT Modality in the Department of Radiology. We spoke with Drs. Campbell and Barbosa when they returned: 

Why did you want to attend the Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar?

Campbell: I was very interested in attending this seminar because the AAMC has very high-quality conferences. I am currently in a leadership position and was interested in learning strategies to improve my leadership skills and reach, in addition to maximizing my potential for future leadership opportunities.

BarbosaI am currently an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Penn, in the Cardiothoracic Division (CE track), expected to excel in the "triple pillars" of clinical service, research and teaching, in the setting of multiple challenges and threats. I am also a minority faculty. I have always been interested in leadership development as a means to effectively address the multiple challenges and threats we face, fostering optimal systems of care, empowering our faculty and staff to perform at their best, increasing their positive impact and at the same time helping them to develop a sense of meaningful purpose in their jobs and lives.

Did this seminar provide valuable tools for each of you to implement in your own career path and professional development?

This seminar was excellent because of the unique mentorship and networking opportunities that it provided. I was inspired by many of the faculty that led presentations and workshops. They also offered small group mentoring sessions with faculty that was individually-focused. Finally, the topics presented were all relevant to leadership and promotion in academic medicine for junior faculty at all levels.

Barbosa: The AAMC Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar offers a prime opportunity to interact with fellow minority faculty from all over the country, and in the process understand commonalities, particularities, shared difficulties and aspirations. The format is highly interactive and the speakers are engaging. It did provide actionable tools towards career progression.

What were some key takeaways from this seminar?

CampbellThe most valuable takeaways from this conference were: 1) The connections created with accomplished minority faculty from all over the country; 2) Learning from the experiences of the inspiring speakers and other faculty from other institutions in terms of their personal trajectories that led them to their current leadership position; 3) Getting tools and pearls on how to navigate my personal career and valuable advice on what changes I need to make now to advance my career.

BarbosaThis 3-day seminar covers many relevant topics with ample opportunities for discussions with peers and faculty. I found that the presentations on grant writing, designing teaching for effective learning and understanding the business side of medicine were particularly superb. Another invaluable resource is the small group career consultation with leaders in academic medicine, which allows face-to-face discussions that are tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

Did the seminar provide a better understand of the realities of advancement in academic medicine?

CampbellThe seminar was eye opening regarding the differences between preparation for promotion in various academic institutions. It made me very grateful to be a part of the Penn Community because we have an excellent Office of Faculty Affairs and the promotion process is transparent.

BarbosaThe seminar clearly delineates the mechanisms, opportunities and threats for career advancement in academic medicine, and even though it can't cover all conceivable scenarios and heterogeneous institutional cultures, it does provide a blueprint that one can tailor and apply to his/her specific scenario.

Would you recommend this seminar to other minority faculty members?

CampbellI would absolutely recommend this seminar to all faculty of color. The speakers were top-notch, the networking was excellent, the food was plentiful, and accommodations were also excellent. I have attended 2 other AAMC conferences as well and they all are very high-quality conferences, worth the time commitment and very useful. My promotion process is going smoothly for me in large part due to the advice and leadership preparation that I obtained from these conferences.

BarbosaDefinitely. It is a great opportunity for all minority faculty. It fosters networking with peers from all over the country; it provides high quality content delivered by experienced faculty; and the venue is superb. But more importantly, it provides a great opportunity for self-reflection about our own personal and professional lives amidst a highly supportive and empathetic atmosphere.

Find out more about AAMC's leadership courses.

Thank you, Drs. Campbell and Barbosa, for attending this seminar and sharing your experience! Please visit our website and social media pages to for more OID sponsorship opportunities.