November 02, 2016

AMWA in full stride with fall panel on promotion and tenure

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AMWA panel sizedAlice Goepfert, M.D., and Marisa Marques, M.D., speaking on a panel, "Demystifying Promotion," sponsored by the UAB chapter of the American Medical Women's Association. The UAB Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association continued its comprehensive roster of activities dealing with issues relevant to women in medicine and science with its October meeting, which featured a panel discussion on “Demystifying Promotion.” A panel of four faculty members – Marisa Marques, M.D., Lori McMahon, Ph.D., Alice Goepfert, M.D., and Helen Krontiras, M.D. – spoke about their experiences not only in terms of their own promotion journeys but in overseeing the promotion of others.

The October 26 panel on demystifying promotion packed the room with interested attendees, who were eager to have their questions and concerns about rank, tenure, and promotion answered. Goepfert summed up the confusion that many faculty members felt in approaching promotion: “A lot of people don’t know what the expectations are for their appointment.”

McMahon echoed this sentiment. “In my own promotion, I didn’t know that I needed to be proactive. You need to be your own advocate.”

One attendee expressed concern that her department chair didn’t seem concerned about whether or not she received tenure. “What does tenure mean in 2016 at UAB?,” she asked.

“Tenure means that you are guaranteed a job,” McMahon said, “but you are not guaranteed a salary.” She went on to explain that the meaning of tenure and how it was applied in the UAB School of Medicine was often interpreted differently, particularly in relation to whether or not the faculty member was in a research position or a clinical position.

“Regardless,” Marques added, “if you want to advance, you must go beyond the basics. Don’t do simply the minimum required.”

Goepfert relayed some practical advice. “Some people reviewing your CV may not know what all of the qualifications you have listed mean. Include a short description of each honor or position you hold. Point out what each item means.”

Other attendees asked questions about how to begin networking with faculty members of greater rank and position in order to improve their recommendations. Membership in professional organizations, including AMWA, was suggested as one way to do this.

The UAB chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association was launched in order to engage the most crucial issues facing women faculty at the UAB School of Medicine, as well as to provide networking opportunities, resources, and support. Most lunchtime meetings are only one hour in duration and include boxed lunches.

This panel is one of three AMWA events marking the end of the calendar year. On Nov. 14, attendees will hear from special guest speaker Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, immediate past president of AMWA National, who will discuss negotiation strategy. 2016 will wrap up with a networking event for UAB School of Medicine AMWA members at the Wine Loft on Nov. 29.

AMWA meetings are open to all faculty in the UAB School of Medicine.