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Study finds ELAM program provides effective leadership training

June 11, 2008

A recent study has found that Drexel University College of Medicine's highly respected Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women is effective in promoting leadership skills and attainment.

ELAM is a core program of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine. For the past 14 years, the highly competitive program has been offering rigorous leadership development training to mid-career women faculty from U.S. and Canadian schools of medicine, dentistry and public health.

The study, "Evaluating a leadership program: A comparative, longitudinal study to assess the impact of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women," was published in the May 2008 issue of the journal Academic Medicine. It employed a pre-/post-test methodology to compare women from two ELAM cohorts with a matched group of women from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Faculty Roster and with women who applied to the program but were not accepted.

Participants were surveyed once in 2002 with follow-up data collected in 2006. Sixteen leadership indicators were considered, including:

  • Administrative leadership attainment
  • Full professor academic rank
  • Leadership competencies and readiness
  • Leadership aspirations
  • Education

For 15 of the indicators, ELAM participants scored higher than the other two groups. Differences were statistically significant for 12 indicators.

"We have seen firsthand the beneficial impact ELAM has on our fellows," said Rosalyn Richman, co-director of the ELAM program and one of the authors of the study. "The findings support the hypothesis that ELAM makes a profound difference in terms of leadership behaviors and career progression.