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Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® About ELAM

Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program participants

Established in 1995, the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program offers an intensive one-year fellowship of leadership training with extensive coaching, networking and mentoring opportunities aimed at expanding the national pool of qualified women candidates for leadership in academic medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy.

Despite the greater numbers of women matriculating at our nation's medical, dental and public health schools, women are still significantly underrepresented within the topmost administrative ranks of academic health centers (AHCs), even though there is a widely acknowledged need to diversify leadership and improve cultural and gender sensitivity in health care training and delivery. Placing more women in positions of senior leadership at AHCs will provide important new perspectives for decision making and help speed the curricular, organizational and policy changes needed to ensure a more effective, representative and responsive health care system.

The ELAM program has been specially developed for senior women faculty at the associate or full professor level who demonstrate the greatest potential for assuming executive leadership positions at academic health centers within the next five years. While attaining higher levels within the AHC executive ranks is the program's primary focus, ELAM encourages its graduates to pursue the full diversity of roles that offer opportunities for leadership within their organizations.

The Institutional Action Project (IAP) is a key activity supporting leadership development and organizational innovation. During the ELAM fellowship, each fellow designs, implements and initiates evaluation of an IAP. The goal of the IAP is to expand the fellow's leadership skills and institutional visibility through an institutional initiative that aligns with the fellow’s experience and expertise and that meets an organizational goal or need. The purpose of the IAP is to integrate the curricular resources and peer support of the fellowship in a tangible leadership contribution to the fellow's institution.

The effectiveness of ELAM's distinctive approach to leadership preparation is broadly recognized within the academic health community. ELAM graduates now number over 1,300 and serve in numerous leadership positions – department head through university president – at 300 U.S. and Canadian academic health centers. View our Fast Facts for more information on the far-reaching impacts of the ELAM program.

Acceptance into ELAM is determined through an annual competitive selection process, in which approximately 96 candidates are chosen each year.

For more information on ELAM and the application process, check out our FAQs.

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ELAM is a core program of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa. The Institute continues the legacy of advancing women in medicine that began in 1850 with the founding of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation's first women's medical school and a predecessor of today's Drexel University College of Medicine.