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Action Plan 6: Enhance the Skills and Capacity of People in Academic Medicine

Christina Tushman explains how the AAMC is redefining its approach to leadership development.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals need individuals with the leadership, courage, and capabilities to address an array of complex issues.

Through this action plan, the AAMC will help the people of academic medicine to be “leader ready” for any situation. The outcomes of this action plan will be professionals in academic medicine who can collaboratively navigate dynamic and uncertain environments to anticipate and solve complex leadership challenges for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Where we are now

We’re continuing to work on two goals to deliver exceptional leadership development offerings to individuals in medical schools and teaching hospitals:

  • Providing a continuous learning journey that equips the people of academic medicine to lead through complexity, build diverse and inclusive environments, model transformational leadership behaviors, and advance their careers. We believe leadership is a behavior, not a position.
  • Expanding access to leadership education to serve a larger portion of the AAMC’s constituency by targeting new audiences, including professional staff, learners, and residents, and leveraging new learning delivery formats.

In March 2023, we piloted a new RISE program, RISE: Developing Future Leaders in Academic Medicine & Science – 4th Year Medical Students. Nearly 80 graduating MS4 students about to experience one of the most exciting moments of transition in their careers, gathered to build leadership skills and knowledge they need to navigate the challenges and opportunities awaiting them as a resident. Building on the success of the pilot, we have now fully launched this program and are expecting more than 100 MS4 students from 70 different medical schools at the AAMC Learning Center in April 2024.

We conducted constituent focus groups for two of our core flagship programs: our foundational program, comprised of individual contributors and those without formal leadership training, and our program for individuals leading a department or mission area within academic medicine and science. The design and development of those programs has begun, and we are engaging leaders within our community to provide input into content and outline development. Through a series of progressive learning experiences, these programs will enable individuals to build essential leadership capabilities, model transformational behaviors, and contribute to the goals of their organization.

What happens next

  • We’re continuing to actively re-think the skills, capabilities and learning experiences you need to advance your career and to feel more confident and effective in a new role.
  • We will deliver a pilot of our first core leadership program in summer 2024 for individuals leading a department or mission area. The content themes for this offering include shaping organizational culture, leading through change, and strategic implementation. A pilot of the second core leadership program, aimed at fundamental leadership skills, will be conducted in 2025. More detailed information about these programs will become available in the coming months. In addition to expanding our leadership development portfolio by offering the RISE: Developing Future Leaders in Academic Medicine & Science – 4th Year Medical Students seminar annually, we also continue to offer our successful RISE: Developing Future Leaders in Academic Medicine & Science – 2nd Year Medical Students annually. The nomination period for the June 2024 seminar for rising MS2s will open in February. Sign up to receive program updates.

Ways to get involved

  • We want to hear from you. Share your most pressing leadership challenges to help us ensure that we address the skills and topics you need to succeed both now and in the future.
  • Stay connected with us! Additional opportunities to take part in focus groups and content testing will become available. Sign up to participate.