January 09, 2014

Nancy Solomon

SLU Associate Dean to Lead National Charge in Advancing Women in Medicine

ST. LOUIS -- Angela Sharkey, M.D., associate dean for faculty affairs and development at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, has been elected to a position with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) that sets the direction for the coming year in advancing women in academic medicine.

Angela Sharkey, M.D., chairs the steering committee of the Group on Women in Medicine for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Sharkey is chairing the steering committee of the Group on Women in Medicine for the AAMC, which represents all accredited medical schools in North America.

"In order for women faculty to achieve leadership positions, they, like their male colleagues need to demonstrate academic success," says Sharkey, who also is a professor of pediatrics at SLU.

"During the upcoming year, our group will focus on scholarship - enhancing our tool kit on mentoring, sponsorship and academic writing. We also will continue to focus our efforts to advance women to leadership roles in academic medicine."

While women have comprised more than 40 percent of the incoming medical school class since 1991, they hold only 14 of 120 dean positions and 8 percent and 19 percent of clinical and basic science departmental chair positions, according to the 2011-2012 AAMC Women in Academic Medicine Benchmarking report. Sharkey said more progress is needed.

She previously had served as one of 10 members of the Group on Women in Medicine's steering committee, which advances the participation of women faculty, post-doctoral fellows, residents and students within academic medicine.

Last year she edited a quarterly newsletter that provided resources and guidance to female faculty. The steering committee also created an electronic tool kit of resources for women, provides awards recognizing individuals and institutions for practices that retain women faculty and ensure women are offered leadership roles, and plans sessions for the AAMC annual meeting.

The Group on Women in Medicine and Science advocates for the advancement and leadership of women in research, clinical practice and administration. Sharkey's work with the national women's group complements her role at SLU, where she works with faculty on evaluating their career objectives and life goals in ways that will help them search for their own solutions to more effectively develop their careers.

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