2013 Spring Summit
President's Message, Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD, FASTRO
Editor's Corner, Kristine M. Lohr, MD, MS
Job Opportunities
Have Your Got What it Takes? A Closer Look at the Core Competencies Required in Leadership, Patricia A. Hoffmeir
Doctors in the House: The Woman Physician Experience
Work-Family Challenges for Women Leaders,Leilani Doty, PhD
An Economist Addresses Disruptive Behavior, Linda R. Adkison, PhD
Taming Information Overload, Pascale H. Lane, MD
Spring Executive Leadership Summit, Leilani Doty, PhD
Book Report, Kristine M. Lohr, MD, MS
With Greatest Appreciation
Notables and Quotables

Journal Editors


Kristine M. Lohr, MD, MS


Associate Editor:

Leilani Doty, PhD  


Managing Editor:

Kate Marlys


We welcome your articles, tips, suggestions about professional  resources; information 

about jobs and opportunities. Submit to or contact anytime:




2013 Spring Summit




The WESH (Women Executives in Science & Healthcare) Board of Directors have finalized the date and location of the 2013 Executive Leadership Summit. 


Plan to attend and learn from high profile speakers May 3 - 5, 2013.  The Meeting will be in Houston, TX at the modern & sophisticated Hotel Derek in the Galleria section of Houston.  Plan to attend!



Get Your WESH  Wear! 



Get your WESH wear and   

wear it to the next Summit!


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Click here! 



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Vol 3, No 1, Summer  2012
President's Message

Welcome to a new year of WESH. It is an honor and  

privilege to lead this organization at a very exciting time.  As you all know, we have been transitioning from SELAM to WESH for the past few years. That transition is now complete, with a new vision, mission, and tag line. The Board and a number of past Presidents spent a day in Philadelphia this summer working on the implementation of pieces of the 2010 strategic plan. A major goal of this year will be to not only increase the number of members but also to expand our membership outside the "faculty silo" to include women leaders in other healthcare sectors such as finance and law. In addition, we need to look beyond the academic health centers to the pharmaceutical industry, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and other organizations that are dedicated to our mission. The Membership Committee is charged with this task, and they welcome your assistance by contacting women leaders in these organizations and introducing them to WESH. The Membership and Communications Committees are currently assembling a Membership Tool Kit that you can send to your friends and colleagues. This is one of our highest priorities as we set out with our new identity and vision.


The Annual Spring Executive Leadership Summit will take place May 3-5, 2013, in Houston, TX. A Save the Date email was just sent out on the listserv. As more details develop, we will update you. Please pass this on to your women colleagues.


I look forward to the coming year and the challenges ahead. Elisabeth Kunkel, our Immediate Past President, did a wonderful job in steering WESH on a new trajectory, achieving a new vision and a new look. I encourage each of you to get involved in WESH and help us take it to the next level!



Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD, FASTRO

Associate Vice President

Women Faculty Programs

Mattie Allen Fair Professor in Cancer Research

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

T 713-563-8780 office

F 713-745-9890 fax


© 2012 WESH


Editor's Corner

June 15, 2012 - A banner day for me!-as a woman who grew up in Buffalo, NY, and absolutely loves Niagara Falls. I've always marveled at people's desire to go over the Falls intentionally - not a trip I'm interested in. So I was glued to the TV set watching Nik Wallenda fulfill his lifelong dream, as he became the first person to walk across the Horseshoe Falls on a high wire. Yes, the network and sponsors made him wear a tether, though he didn't need it (hindsight bias). What amazed me is how calm and peaceful he remained throughout. During his journey, he talked calmly with his father, answered questions from the TV hosts, and finished by trotting the last few steps before setting foot on Canadian soil. He was truly living in the moment. What would you accomplish if you could be that centered?


I just returned from visiting family in the Buffalo area. The hype is over. Now the city of Niagara Falls, NY, is quibbling with Wallenda to fork over another $25,000 to cover increased security costs during his daredevil deed. So much for serenity! His next dream? Walking a high wire over the Grand Canyon. (How much will that cost him?)


I knew that six people (one woman, five men) have intentionally traveled over the Falls in barrels or makeshift "boats" - 50% survival rate. What I didn't realize was that Mrs. Annie Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, was the first person to conquer the Falls in her barrel (with her cat) on October 24, 1901. She, of course, became famous, but died destitute 20 years later.


But I digress. In the last issue, Patti Hoffmeir referred to the seven core competencies of leadership in What Now? You've Just Been Asked to Step Down. We asked her to tell us more about these, and she delivered. See her article in this issue. Our Past President, Elisabeth Kunkel, MD, is one of the women featured in Vania Y. Cao's article, Doctors in the House: The Woman Physician Experience, published in Association for Women in Science. You can read it here, courtesy of AWIS.


Remember when Anne-Marie Slaughter left her position as the first woman Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department? Leilani Doty reviews Slaughter's recounting of her decision published in the Atlantic.


After attending a session on disruptive behaviors at the 2011 AAMC Annual Meeting, Linda Adkison was inspired to pursue how economist Vilferdo Pareto applied economic theory to behavior in the workplace. Pick up some pointers in her article.


If you're thinking about a new challenge, check out the job opportunities we've received at press time. And if you're looking for a good read, read my book review in this issue. And don't forget to check out Notables and Quotables.



Editor, WESH Leadership Journal

Kristine M. Lohr, MD, MS

Professor of Medicine

University of Kentucky


©WESH 2012


WESH Job Opportunities


A new membership benefit is our Job Opportunities Section in the Members Only  Section of our website.  This Section is launching to members next week!  


For now you can view job opportunities here.


Have you got what it takes?

A Closer Look at the Core Competencies Required in Leadership

Several of the professional healthcare organizations and associations 

have developed their own  competency models. So how does a physician

Patricia A. Hoffmeir

leader know which competencies to adopt? You could seek to improve your skills to be in alignment with the competencies published by any of these major associations - the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), or even the writings of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).


Rather than chase a moving bus, I recommend you take a broader approach to developing your core competencies by focusing on the skills all healthcare executives need today.


Core Competencies

A core competency is defined as an underlying characteristic of an individual that is related to superior performance in a job or situation. Naturally, hiring organizations expect every job candidate to have certain core competencies. This is because, in practical terms, they determine who will be particularly effective in any given job.


J. Larry Tyler, Chairman and CEO of Tyler & Company, and Andrew N. Garman, PsyD, MS, of Rush University, worked with ACHE on a one-year research project to develop a job-relevant multisource feedback survey. The seven competency clusters defined below were born from this research as a set of criteria to develop leadership talent in healthcare administration. Adopting these 7 competencies provides senior healthcare executives with the skills they need to lead their organizations, grow professionally and mentor "up and comers." The seven clusters are:


♦ Charting the course,

♦ Developing work relationships,

♦ Using broad influence,

♦ Structuring the work environment,

♦ Inspiring commitment,

♦ Communication, and

♦ Self-management.


Let's look more closely at each....Read More.   


Patricia A. Hoffmeir

Senior Vice President, Tyler & Company


© 2012 WESH                


Doctors in the House: The Woman Physician Experience

Enjoy the words of wisdom from our own Past-President Elisabeth Kunkel, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. She was one of the women featured in the article, Doctors in the House: The Woman Physician Experience, published in the Spring 2012 issue of AWIS.


While childcare is one of the primary challenges for women physicians, with proactive planning, a strong support system, mentoring, and more holistic medical education programs, women physicians are gaining in fulfilling community, academic, and diverse careers as physicians.




Association for Women in Science Spring 2012, 43(2), 29-31.

Doctors in the House: The Woman Physician Experience by Vania Y. Cao 


Today, when we walk into a hospital, clinic or medical school classroom, it is not surprising to find a woman who is a physician or a professor. It is almost expected that in some specialties of medicine, you may be more likely to find a woman doctor than a man. Women with medical degrees today are administrators, professors, and deans; they have founded societies and associations as well as taken on roles such as Surgeon General and Institute Director at the National Institutes of Health (1). We have come a long way from the time when pursuing a medical education was strictly a male endeavor, when women struggled through overt discrimination and open ridicule to gain the right to practice medicine. Yet, this profession still carries with it many difficulties that remain a challenge to anyone striving to don a white coat (1, 2, 3).


So what is it like to be a woman with a medical degree today?


Where We Were

It is difficult to appreciate the current status of the woman physician without some examination of experiences from the past. One valuable source of information on this topic is the "Changing the Face of Medicine Exhibit," currently accessible online (1). While exploring the stories of early women physicians featured in this exhibit, one realizes quickly that being the first at something is not always a pleasant experience. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree in 1849, was admitted to medical school "as a joke" (1), yet graduated first in her class (3). Women accepted to medical schools after her experienced open hostility from classmates and faculty and were rejected from internships due to their gender. It took much time for women to gain prominence and credibility in medical circles. Significant increases in the number of women entering medical training did not occur until the 1970s, partly due to the revival of feminism (1-4) and the implementation of Title IX, which prevented institutions of higher learning from discriminating against female applicants (2, 5). "All the women [physicians] in the exhibit have taken different pathways, but they all managed to create fulfilling and empowered lives," said Ellen S. More, Ph.D., historian of medicine, professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and co-curator of this exhibit. "We wanted to be perfectly honest about the difficulties [women faced], but to show that this doesn't stop anybody" (6).


Indeed, before the 1970s, women made up only about 10% of American medical school classes (5). Their numbers rose to about 30% in 1982, and have hovered around the 50% mark over the past few years (7). According to the American Medical Association, in 2011-2012, women received 48.4% of all M.D.s awarded, the largest number of any national graduating class to date (7). With so many more women getting their medical degrees, progressing through residency programs and moving on to careers in hospitals, private clinics, academic medicine and elsewhere, how has this changed women physicians' experiences since the early days?


Here and Now...Read More. 

Reprinted with permission:

Elisabeth Kunkel, Ellen More, Michelle Mudge-Riley,

Odette Harris, Angela Sharkey, Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber


© 2012 WESH


Work-Family Challenges for Women Leaders

Trailblazer Anne-Marie Slaughter, JD, PhD, Speaks

Anne-Marie Slaughter, JD, PhD, left a position as a world leader to deal with the age-old work-life balance issues that women leaders continue to face.


Anne-Marie Slaughter, JD (Harvard), PhD (Oxford) is a trailblazer. She is the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs and in 2002 was the first woman Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public International Affairs at Princeton University. Appointed as the first woman Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department (January 2009 to February 2011) alongside Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, after two years Slaughter stopped the Washington, DC-New Jersey weekend commute lifestyle for the sake of more family stability. She returned to be more available to her two sons, especially her struggling 14 year-old, and resumed her Princeton University position as the Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs.


Slaughter recounted her recent decision in Why Women Still Can't Have It All, published in the Atlantic (see link below). She discusses the many problems that still exist as women become top professionals and try to have healthy family and personal lives.


Read More 

Leilani Doty, PhD

Director, University of Florida Cognitive & Memory Disorder Clinics

WESH, Communication Chair

© 2012 WESH

An Economist Addresses Disruptive Behavior 

Vilferdo Pareto (1848-1923), an economist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is not the usual figure associated with leadership guidance or insight into difficult issues confronted by individuals in academic leadership. Nonetheless, he applied economic theory to sociological observations and demonstrated economic principles related to workplace behaviors.


Illogical Actions

In his sociological masterpiece, Trattato di sociologia generale published in 1916, Pareto noted that people's behaviors are often based upon illogical actions followed by the creation of justifications for the actions afterwards.He went on to posit that these illogical behaviors are underlying problems at the core of an individual's aspirations and drives. A simple example is the faculty member, clinical or non-clinical, who regularly misses meetings because they are too busy - an illogical behavior in the opinion of those people who attend the meeting as scheduled and a poor justification by the person who thinks personal work is more important than that of other committee members. The individual core aspirations are not about being a member of the committee and accomplishing tasks together but demonstrating self-importance.


Defenders of Status Quo vs. Innovators

Pareto classified illogical actions into six classes, but the most important two are:

  • Conservative defenders of the status quo and
  • Radical promoters of change, or innovators

 Read More

Linda R. Adkison, PhD

Professor of Genetics

Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Kansas City, MO


©WESH 2012

Taming Information Overload

Now WESH connected to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

Coming soon, our new Members Only section!!



WESH (Women Executives in Science & Healthcare) members clearly took Kevin Knebl's (exciting social-networking speaker at the May 2012, Spring Executive Leadership Summit) advice to heart; we've had more action on the WESH LinkedIn site than we usually do!  We all come across information and articles we want to share, and we should have a mechanism that makes some sense.   WESH already has Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 


Shortly we will be launching our brand new Members Only Section which will include a listserve so WESH Members can communicate,strategize, and share ideas with each other. For now, here's some more information from our Electronic Communications Chair, Pascale Lane, MD.  


Taming Information Overload


Information overload infects our daily lives. Email, social media, newsfeeds and plain old web-surfing reveal lots of information, and much of it may be of interest. The current problem is not locating material; it's finding it at the wrong time when we may not be able to read it. How can we capture the important stuff and keep it for the right time?


In this brave new mobile internet world, people provide solutions. Instapaper (, a web- and app-based service to store online materials for later reading, has changed my data handling. It includes a web-based service with simple, free sign-up, plus apps for major mobile platforms including iPhone and iPad. You may also add bookmarklets to most web browsers. When an article of interest appears, you click this button and the web page gets saved to your account. Many other sources of information, such as Twitter, RSS readers, and Facebook, include options to save posts to Instapaper.


I subscribe to several weekly newsletters that include links to five or ten articles. If one looks interesting, I click on the link to the full web-based article and then save it to Instapaper. Later that evening or during a clinic no-show, I open the app on my iPad or iPhone and read the piece at my leisure.


Read More 

Pascale H. Lane, MD

Professor of Pediatrics

Associate Dean for Faculty Development

University of Nebraska Medical Center

WESH Chair, Electronic Communications 

Highlights from the 3rd Executive Leadership Summit



Highlights of 2012


 Renew and Redirect


      3rd Executive Leadership Spring Summit


Transformation                                         New mission

Progressive vision                             Diverse outreach

Greater goals               Expanded strategies

Advance and promote



The key words above describe the new identity and directions of WESH (Women Executives in Science & Healthcare), formerly known as SELAM (Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine). WESH has undergone a major transformation with a new mission, progressive vision, and diverse outreach, to move in new and greater directions with expanded strategies to advance and promote women in diverse health and science careers into senior leadership positions.


Launching this WESH transformation, the 3rd Executive Leadership Spring Summit: Renew and Redirect (held May 4-6, 2012 in downtown Philadelphia) provided several nationally respected speakers and exciting sessions. The speakers discussed key issues, challenging dilemmas from their professional experiences, and recommendations to spur and guide women in the rise to top levels of leadership. Program Chair Sara Jo Grethlein, MD and her committee put together an engaging and enlightening program. Highlights of Renew and Redirect follow.


The Roberta E. Sonnino Keynote Session: Janet Bickel, MA


Janet Bickel, MA (Career and Leadership Development Coach at Janet Bickel & Associates, LLC, discussed Resilience: How is Your Vision of Success Changing? What do you need to do to keep growing? Janet Bickel described resilience as the ability to reboot under positions of change. She challenged attendees to keep growing, achieve success, and stay "plugged in to the abundance of life". Leaders often live with ongoing pressures from themselves as well as a boss (or bosses); past successes often breed expectations to do more. And more is never enough! There may be unrealistic metrics, the lack of inspiring role models or mentors, and unsolvable problems such as funding issues beyond your control. Janet Bickel suggested identifying your own:


  • goals such as learning a new skill that interests you,
  • realistic metrics such as how many papers you want to write in the next year, and 
  •  limitations or mistakes and ways to adjust.


 Click Here to Read More Highlights of the Meeting including:

  • Life in the C-Suite and the Boardroom
  • Talent Management: Hiring, Firing, and Moving People On
  •  Intergenerational Professionals
  • The Joys of Networking: LinkedIn
  • 4th Executive Leadership Spring Summit 



    Leilani  Doty, PhD

    Director, University of Florida Cognitive & Memory Disorder Clinics

    WESH, Communication Chair   


Book Report

My reward for traveling is reading fiction. On my recent trip to visit family in Buffalo, NY, (complete with a lengthy late-night weather- and repair-related delay in DTW), I started The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (©Berkley Books, NY). Ahhh!


"The first question people always ask me is, What are the essential ingredients?" Lillian paused and smiled. "I might as well tell you, there isn't a list and I've never had one. Nor do I hand out recipes. All I can say is that you will learn what you need to."


I would love to take Chef Lillian's monthly Monday night cooking class. She challenges her students to think, "What do you do that makes you happy?" She doesn't follow recipes, and she uses whatever is fresh to create sumptuous meals. As Lillian leads the class, she provides instructions nestled within stories. Her descriptions of preparing and savoring food interweave with advice about life. They just make you want to slow down, spend an evening cooking, and explore the taste and feel of each ingredient-with friends.


One night they prepare a dinner with fresh crab. "But what we are doing has the virtue of being honest-you aren't just opening a can and pretending the crabmeat came from nowhere. And when you're honest about what you are doing, I find care and respect follow more easily."


Each chapter bears the name of Lillian or one of her eight students. Several chapters describe how Lillian came to choose her career and restaurant. Others include flashbacks of the characters' life experiences that bring them to the class. For example, at the point where Tom's wife Charlie learns that breast cancer is escaping treatment, she waits in a hammock for his return home to share a bottle of red wine. "We're all just ingredients, Tom. What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal."


This is a feel good book because, despite life's stresses, the characters become friends, grow together, soothe each other's discomfort, and flow with life.


Kristine M. Lohr, MD, MS

Professor of Medicine

University of Kentucky


©WESH 2012

With Greatest Appreciation
With Greatest Appreciation for:  WESH Institutional Members

We truly appreciate the WESH membership of several academic institutions. Institutional membership provides academic health care and science institutions and other organizations ways to partner with and support the activities of WESH. Included in this type of membership are opportunities to introduce promising leaders, especially women leaders, within their own organization to the WESH network and WESH programs to develop stellar leadership skills.


The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Susanne M. Mumby, PhD

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Women Faculty Programs

  • Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD, FASTRO

University of Colorado


  • CJ Klinger 

Wayne State University School of Medicine 


  • Roberta E. Sonnino MD, FACS, FAAP

Join Our:  WESH Lifetime Members

Honors and accolades are due the highly respected and growing pool of WESH Lifetime Members. We encourage you to join them and to recognize high achieving women at your institution with an Award of a WESH Lifetime Membership.


WESH Lifetime Members shall have the right to vote and shall be eligible to run for office. An Active WESH Membership may convert to a Lifetime Membership upon application to and approval from the WESH Board of Directors and a one-time payment of the Lifetime Dues ($2,500). Learn more about how you may join this growing pool of highly productive leaders at ; email or phone:215-320-3879. 

Current Honor Roll of WESH Lifetime Members:


Roberta E. Sonnino, MD, FACS, FAAP, Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Associate Provost for Medical Affairs, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.

Elizabeth L. "Liz" Travis, PhD, FASTRO, Associate Vice President, Women Faculty Programs, The Provost's Office, and the Mattie Allen Fair Professor in Cancer Research, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology and Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX.

Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, Professor, Molecular Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Professor and Director, Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Houston, TX.

Leilani Doty, PhD, Director, University of Florida Cognitive & Memory Disorder Clinics, Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, Gainesville, FL


Emelia J. Benjamin, MD, SCM, School of Medicine and Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA


Kristene K. Guglinzza, MD, Professor, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX


Susan M. Essock, PhD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY



I'm already tired of the 2012 campaign ads and the candidates' political backbiting in the news. I felt refreshed after reading Editor Jim Toedtman's letter in the July-August 2012 issue of the AARP Bulletin. He described how George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton accomplished so much despite "their conniving and their bitter rivalries". Toedtman's letter is titled, Leaders, Try Greatness, Not Meanness. He quoted John Adams, "There must be decency and respect and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank or we are undone. In a popular government, this is our only way." And Toedtman added, "Decency, respect and veneration produced compromise and a foundation that has endured for 236 years. We are surrounded by noise, meanness and ignorance. The measure for our leaders must be their ability to rediscover that proven formula of sense, greatness and learning."

 Click Here to Read More! 



On March 13, 2012, Maureen Dowd's Op-Ed column "Don't Tread on Us" got me riled. It begins, "Hillary Clinton has fought for women's rights around the world. But who would have dreamed that she would have to fight for them at home?" It goes on to describe "the attempt by Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts...." 

Click Here to Read More!


To see the Summer 2012 Journal Quotables Click Here!


© 2012 WESH