BUSM Receives Award for Work-Life Balance Practices for Academic Physicians

Boston University School of Medicine is receiving a $250,000 grant from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for its innovative work in career flexibility for academic physicians.

Six other medical schools also received awards, which ACE launched after investigating the structural and cultural constraints for faculty career flexibility in academic medicine. The awards are part of ACE’s ongoing work with The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility . They were presented at ACE’s Board of Directors meeting in Washington, where representatives of the Sloan Foundation and Darrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) delivered remarks.Sloan Foundation web

Boston University School of Medicine will use the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility to build on innovative existing policies and programs that facilitate professional and personal balance while implementing new initiatives that provide multiple levels of mentoring. Mentoring will increase career flexibility by enabling faculty to navigate the path to advancement more efficiently while avoiding burnout. Specifically, we will design a midcareer faculty development program to enhance career advancement. We will also create an online database of mentors and facilitate communities of practice to stimulate peer and senior mentoring to foster career flexibility.

“We are committed to the quality of academic life at Boston University School of Medicine and to faculty development. This grant will support pilot programs that can be more broadly adopted, if found effective,” said Karen Antman MD, dean, Boston University School of Medicine and provost, Boston University Medical Campus.

“Our colleagues at the Association of American Medical Colleges note that the United States is facing a looming crisis: a serious doctor shortage,” said ACE Senior Vice President Gretchen M. Bataille. “If our medical schools aren’t retaining the right faculty, then that shortage will only be exacerbated. These seven institutions are taking bold steps to keep the best and brightest teachers, which helps attract future doctors. We are grateful to the Sloan Foundation for their continued support of these efforts.”

“By attracting and retaining the best of the best, these winning medical schools are able to put themselves on a path toward excellence,” said Kathleen Christensen, program director, Alfred. P. Sloan Foundation. “They do this through targeted efforts to address the unique work/life challenges faced by faculty. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is proud to partner with ACE to honor these winners and is deeply appreciative of ACE’s leadership on these issues.”

Brief summaries of the institutions’ award-winning activities can be found on the ACE website.

“Medical schools face unique challenges in not just finding, but keeping, highly specialized faculty,” said ACE Senior Advisor and Project Director Claire Van Ummersen. “The awardees have addressed this issue head-on. They should serve as examples not just for other medical schools, but for any institution facing a crisis in retaining a highly trained workforce. Our thanks go to the Sloan Foundation for supporting this important work.”

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, its Working Longer program is expanding understanding of aging Americans’ work patterns.


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