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Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® Fast Facts

The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women aims to increase and sustain the number and impact of women in academic leadership positions in the health sciences.

A Legacy of Leadership

ELAM carries on the legacy of advancing women in medicine begun by the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation's first women's medical school. ELAM continues as a national resource hosted by Drexel University College of Medicine. Since its inception, the one-year, part-time fellowship has expanded to target diverse health professions and to reach a broader, global stage.

A timeline of expanding influence

1995 – Fellows from medical schools
1996 – Fellows from dental schools
2003 – Fellows from pharmacy schools
2006 – Fellows from public health schools
2012 – Fellows from international medical schools
2022 – Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH)

More than 1,500 fellows have been sponsored by 90% of accredited U.S. medical schools and 60% of accredited U.S. dental schools. In addition, 42 public health faculty and three pharmacy faculty have completed the program.

25 fellows have come from schools outside of the United States. 90 schools have had five or more fellows; of those, 58 have had 10 or more fellows.

Recognized for excellence

1999 American Council on Education's Office of Women in Higher Education Network Leadership Award

2004 American Dental Association's Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund Award

2010 Association of American Medical Colleges' Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award

2015 American Dental Education Association Gies Award for Outstanding Vision, Public or Private


ELAM-based research has been funded by foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Foundation and the NIH. Results, which have been published in numerous academic journals, show that:

  • Deans at medical and dental schools in the U.S. and Canada report positive impact of ELAM alumnae on their schools and the alumnae themselves.
  • Compared to other mid-level and senior women faculty, ELAM participants are more likely to hold administrative leadership appointments, achieve full professor rank, and report leadership aspirations, education, and skill.
  • Participation in the ELAM program increases self-efficacy.

ELAM: Changing the Face of Academic Leadership

Alumnae of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program hold executive leadership positions at more than 300 academic health organizations.

These include:

  • 90 chief executive or academic officers (presidents/chief executive officers, executive directors, provosts and chancellors)
  • 20 assistant/associate/vice/senior associate provosts
  • 63 vice presidents

Deans of accredited U.S. schools:

  • 26 at medical schools
  • 5 at dental schools
  • 13 at public health or population health schools

304 department chairs:

  • 229 at medical schools
  • 22 at dental schools
  • 15 at public health schools
  • 38 at other institutions

301 center directors:

  • 205 at medical schools
  • 12 at dental schools
  • 6 at public health schools
  • 78 at other institutions

240 associate, senior associate, vice deans:

  • 194 at medical schools
  • 24 at dental schools
  • 12 at public health schools
  • 10 at other institutions

34% of alumnae in the last 5 classes (2021–2025) identify as racial or ethnic minorities (African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latina, Native American/Alaskan Native).

Leading organizational change

Institutional Action Projects started during the fellowship address needs and priorities of home institutions and promote organizational change. These initiatives apply learned strategies in program and relationship building to a broad range of challenges resulting in:

  • New medical and dental curricula
  • Comprehensive faculty mentoring and career development programs
  • Translational centers for biomedical research, clinical innovation and community engagement
  • New policies for faculty recruitment, retention and compensation
  • Global health research and outreach strategies
  • Clinical quality improvement programs' design and implementation

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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.