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MED Wins ACE Award

$250,000 will fund “best practice” faculty retention program

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Dr. Karen Antman, Dean of Boston University School of Medicine BUSM, ACE grant award, Medical faculty work-life balance

BU School of Medicine dean Dr. Karen Antman. Photo by Vernon Doucette

As the baby boomer generation ages, America faces a serious doctor shortage—which could be exacerbated if medical schools fail to retain the kind of teachers who can attract future doctors. The BU School of Medicine is finding ways to help. The school was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to fund “best practice” programs that provide medical faculty with opportunities for work/life balance. MED is one of six schools given awards at ACE’s board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., on September 24.

“Medical schools face unique challenges in not just finding, but keeping highly specialized faculty,” ACE project director Claire Van Ummersen said in announcing the grants to BU, Indiana University, Stanford, UMass Medical School, and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “The awardees have addressed this issue head-on.”

Karen Antman, dean of MED and provost of the Medical Campus, says the school is committed to the quality of academic life and to faculty development. “This grant will support pilot programs that can be more broadly adopted, if found effective,” she says.

MED will use the grants to expand its Emerging Leaders Forum and Academy for Faculty Advancement into a new leadership forum to assist mid-career faculty who have not yet reached full professorship. It will also create an online database of mentors and facilitate communities of practice to stimulate peer and senior mentoring to foster career flexibility.

The school plans to collaborate with its affiliated hospital partners to address unconscious bias in search committees and strengthen programs to increase sensitivity around the needs of LGBT faculty.

Dick Taffe can be reached at rtaffe@bu.edu.

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