Elizabeth Kagan Arleo, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology
New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell
AAWR is stronger now than it was a year ago, and the need for it remains strong.
In the past year, vetted and re-organized committees – including Awards, Bylaws, Communications (with subcommittees including newsletter, social media, website, and pocket mentor), Fellowship, Finance, Membership, Members-in-Training (MIT), Nomination, and Program – have convened quarterly to make headway on 2019 committee-specific goals. The Executive Committee has met monthly to consider challenging issues and make key decisions. As President, I have also convened weekly meetings together with AAWR’s outstanding Executive Director, Stephanie Hige, to cover everything from hammering out logistics and visions for upcoming meetings to reviewing the bylaws, discussing membership strategies, and reviewing financials and corporate support outreach. I include this for transparency and clarity to our members, and to remind myself how far we’ve come in the past year.
Tying together the past, present, and future of our organization, I very happy to announce that the AAWR received a very generous donation from 1992 AAWR Past President Katherine (Kay) Shaffer. After discussion with Dr. Shaffer and the AAWR Executive Committee, the decision was made that these funds will be used to support an AAWR member's attendance at the annual summit of the Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI), commencing in 2020. Part of the rationale for this decision was that such an award could benefit both radiologists and radiation oncologists, and those in private practice as well as academics. The AAWR and future recipients of the eponymous Katherine A. Shaffer Award thank you so very much, Dr. Shaffer, for your generous donation – we are extremely touched and grateful.
In closing, I would like to share, with permission, Dr. Shaffer’s comments in our recent communication: “I’m delighted to see the AAWR progressing so nicely. As you may know, Adele Swenson, RSNA executive director in the 1980s, was very helpful getting us organized, and she asked the question if the need for the AAWR would go away in 30 years. Obviously, it hasn’t, and fortunately the recruiting efforts for more women into the field are advancing, through efforts of not only the AAWR but now the ACR. The AAWR was fortunate to get representation on the Intersociety Commission five years after founding, and that raised awareness of many of the women originally involved, including Kay Vydareny, Carol Rumack, and myself. Best wishes to you and the other officers for continuing good work.”
Best wishes to all of our AAWR members for a lovely fall!
||AAWR ASTRO Luncheon 2019
Hina Saeed, MD
Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
This year the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) 61th Annual Meeting was held in Chicago, Illinois with a focus of on:
- Innovation: Reimagined curriculum with shorter more interactive sessions and content curated in a specialty specific manner.
- Collaboration: Purposeful networking opportunities, facilitated break-out sessions and discussion time built into the schedule, facilitating engagement in multidisciplinary professional collaboration.
- Transformation: ASTRO 2019 is the beginning of a three-year transformation to accelerate the impact and value of the meeting, reinforcing it as an essential experience for the cancer care community.
As has been the case since the luncheon was opened up to all women in ASTRO more than 15 years ago, the AAWR ASTRO luncheon was well attended with 120 participants. Dr. Maria Kelly, FACR, FASTRO, the immediate past president of AAWR, and Dr. Candice Johnstone, MPH, elected member of ACR’s College Nominating Committee, organized an inspiring leadership program.
The luncheon started with Dr. Maria Kelly’s “Welcome and Introduction: AAWR/ASTRO Luncheon 2019 - DO YOU CURIE? ME TOO!” She covered current female ASTRO membership statistics, women elected to the ASTRO board, current female academic US department chairs, new female ASTRO fellows, and female gold medal recipients. She announced the AAWR-ASTRO Resident Outstanding Research Award to Dr. Susan Wu from UCSF for her oral presentation, “Targeted Needs Assessment of Dosimetry and Treatment Planning Education for US Radiation Oncology Residents.”
Next, Dr. Nancy P. Mendenhall, FASTRO, Associate Chair of Department of Radiation Oncology and Medical Director of UF Health Proton Therapy, introduced invited guest speaker, Gae Walters, PhD, from Millennium Consulting. Dr. Walters is a behavioral scientist, psychometric specialist, researcher, and executive coach with expertise in leadership development, team effectiveness, and behavioral and organizational psychology. Industry Week’s list of the World’s 100 Best-Managed Companies included many of Dr. Walters’ clients. Dr. Walters served as Vice President of Organizational Development for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, for whom she still conducts leadership training. She was a founding member of the Disney Institute and is on the faculty of the University of Florida’s division of Executive Education. Dr. Walters currently serves as a faculty member and was Chairman of the Board for the Center for Psychological Type, whose mission is to teach Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. She also serves on the Board of Directors for CDM Smith, a consulting, engineering, and construction firm based in Cambridge, MA. Her topic for our luncheon was “Solving for the X in the Y Domain: Overcoming Gender-based Barriers to Leadership.”
Dr. Walters introduced a study she undertook that resulted in her book, “Solving for the X in the Y Domain.” She took this opportunity to explain the background and rationale behind the book as well as the salient features of her writing.
She began with a historical perspective and a quote from Bob Dylan, “The times, they are changing.” She reported a dramatic increase in females in the U.S. Senate and House from 16 in 1975 to 127 in 2018. However, data continues to show an under-representation of women in scientific careers (89% male vs 11% females in top academic positions, and 97% males vs 3% females as scientific Nobel Prize winners). She points out widespread diversity at entry level positions in S&P 500 companies that diminishes as one climbs the ladder (similar to academic medicine - medical schools having ~50% females but only 20% female full professors and 11% deans). She mentioned a number of books that discussed this lack of diversity:
- The Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century
- The Women and Labyrinth of Leadership
- It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor
- Managing Diversity and the Glass Cliff
- Ending the Gauntlet, Removing Barriers in Women’s Success in the Law
Dr. Walters then described the evolution of her study as she reviewed the role of succession planning. This would initially include women and minorities but there was non-adherence to leadership criteria and many kinds of gender-based barriers, subtle discrimination, and bias preventing women from achieving executive positions. She felt discouraged initially, and that turned into anger. She is a firm believer in the quote, “Anger without action is despair.” She decided to shift her focus from studying already known barriers for women failing to attain leadership positions to understand how some women were able to become leaders. In 2014 Dr. Martin Leahy reported that successful female leaders in her study were described as positive deviants in the literature – “women who did not wait to be empowered, who did not rely on the organizations to remove the structural barriers to advancement, but took it upon themselves to act - and succeeded.” These positive deviants faced the same challenges and obstacles as others in an organization but discovered new and innovative ways (buffering behaviors) to function without creating conflict. She decided to study specific behaviors and strategies to empower women striving to achieve senior leadership positions in male-dominated fields. There were 16 women in the study, six of whom were MDs. She described three major areas of her study:
1: Self-Efficacy (comes from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory/Unifying Theory)
- Sources of Self-Efficacy
- Self-Efficacious Behaviors
2: Gender-Based Barriers
- Masculine Stereotypes of Leadership
- Gender Bias
- Gender Backlash
- Gendered Organizations
3: Buffering Behaviors
- Impression Management
- Political Skill
She then described the above areas in more detail:
1: Self-Efficacy: The concept of a person’s self-efficacy is described as their belief system regarding their success on a task, which serves as powerful predictors of choice, effort and persistence. Self-efficacy is divided into two sub-categories as outlined above and then further divided into four themes:
- Sources of Self-Efficacy
Theme #1: Early Messages and Experiences – Parents create self-efficacy early in their child’s life. This attribute can be built later on for those who missed the childhood experience. Building one’s self efficacy requires shifting focus from one’s weaknesses to understanding one’s strengths. The best leaders concentrate on honing their strengths and finding others who can make up for their limitations. The right messages and early experiences of responsibility can result in immense confidence.
Theme #2: Athletic and/or Physical Challenges – Unexpected finding that people in the study reported as vital for setting and reaching the goals and learning the rules of the game.
b. Self-Efficacious Behaviors
Theme #3: Positive Self-Talk - Conscious internal conversation in which women reminded themselves of their highly developed capabilities and encouraged themselves to persevere in the absence of external sources of encouragement. We often have no control over a situation but do have control over our reaction to it.
Theme #4: Taking Control of One’s Career Destiny – Courage to leave untenable situations.
2: Gender Based Barriers
- Masculine stereotypes of leadership and hegemony
Theme #5: It’s a man’s world – medicine is an example. Power will not be shared nor given to women. Male colleagues watched silently without challenging unfair behaviors while women felt alone in their battle to achieve career aspirations.
b. Gender Bias (beliefs)
Theme #6: Belief that women can’t and won’t perform well. There was antipathy toward women who seek positions of power that men traditionally hold. There was a surprising degree of hostility towards women in a field that prides itself on objectivity and evidence. The tenacity and resilience of positive deviants allowed them to shine through this in a tactful way.
c. Gender Backlash (actions)
Theme #7: Women were mistreated for violating gender stereotypes. Women exhibiting agentic behaviors were perceived as lacking interpersonal skills and not selected for leadership roles.
d. Gendered Organizations
Theme #8: Women were made to feel unwelcome in a highly gendered field. Examples are social activities helpful for career advancement but from which women were excluded.
3: Buffering Behaviors
Theme #9: Being self-aware and alert – Observing social cues and the effects of their words or actions and using this information to guide behavior
b. Impression Management
Theme #10: Perceive, analyze, modify, evaluate, adjust – important to accomplish a goal while avoiding conflict and reported to be extensively used by all 16 participants who described five behavioral strategies.
- Executive presence – wear your organization’s uniform. Try to avoid anything that can be associated with female stereotypes such as super high heels, long nails with different colors/patterns, etc. She talked about the importance of body language: “power of the palm” (as indicative of “having nothing to hide, no need to be scared”), power pose (steeple and modified steeple), maintaining eye contact for at least three seconds, sharing eye contact with everyone in a meeting, avoiding looking down when being challenged, and avoiding head tilts. If we look calm and confident, we shall feel confident.
- Communication and language choices – For example, if dad has to skip a meeting for daughter’s recital, he will be considered the best dad while mom will be considered a slacker. No need to say more than one has to – saying “I have a conflict and cannot attend the meeting” is enough. Say “I will” rather than “I hope to” or “I would like to.”
- Associating and affiliating appropriately
- Constantly adapting and adjusting behavior
- Differentiating oneself – “Brand”
c. Political Skill
Theme #11: Networking, negotiating, communicating, interpersonal savvy – Women had a “gendered advantage” over their male counterparts. Dr. Walters also gave examples about “report talk” vs “rapport talk.” She encouraged asking excellent questions early on in a meeting, seeking opportunities to present, and making declarative statements. To negotiate an agreement without giving in - rather than saying that the other person is wrong, pause to think how you can make the person react in the way you want to. She also described the significance of empathy (understanding what the other person is feeling, doing, and needs) as the key to influencing .
d. Performance (most frequently cited buffering behavior)
Theme #12: “You can’t be equal to, you must be better than –“. Overpreparation, availability, exceeding expectations, having scientific knowledge, and being the intervening variable are all critical skills.
At the end of our interactive session, we left with a better understanding of the importance of self-efficacy, gender-based barriers, and buffering behaviors/strategies to achieve top leadership goals. Other themes discussed by the audience were the need to unite and support each other, the value of having a structured organization for women, and an emphasis on seeking help when you are the victim rather than accepting sexual harassment or discrimination.
All present were encouraged to join AAWR as a forum for continued engagement.
Dr. Walters graciously provided her services gratis, and we were very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to her level of expertise.
AAWR ASTRO Speed Mentoring 2019
Hina Saeed, MD
Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin
The inaugural annual AAWR-ASTRO-ARRO-SPRO-CHEDI: Speed Mentoring event at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology’s 61st meeting was sponsored by the AAWR. The dedication and commitment of the leadership responsible for organizing the highly successful event resulted in the session being very popular and sold out within the first month. Dr. Candice Johnstone, MPH, and Dr. Maria Kelly, FACR, FASTRO, the immediate past president of AAWR, led the efforts.
The title of the session was “Navigating the Ladder of Success while Developing Work-Life Integration.“ With 16 mentors and 50 mentees, the Innovation Hub was abuzz with the exchange of ideas amongst mentors, in-training members, and medical students. The moderators included the above-mentioned leaders as well as Dr. Curtiland Deville. This year’s event featured 16 mentors from across the country and encompassed a diverse number of career stages, practice types, and varying interests in radiation oncology.
The event was sponsored by the following societies:
- American Association for Women in Radiology (AAWR)
- Society for Palliative Radiation Oncology (SPRO)
- Society for Women in Radiation Oncology (SWRO)
- Radiation Oncology Women Physician Group (ROWPG)
- ASTRO Committee on Health, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (CHEDI)
- David Beyer, MD, FASTRO: Dr. Beyer is the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology, Sedona. He is the past president of ASTRO and ABS. His interests include health policy, rural health issues, and brachytherapy.
- Anthony V. D’Amico, MD, PhD, FASTRO: Dr. D’Amico is the Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. He serves as the Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology at Brigham and Women’s and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is the Director of Career Advising at Harvard Medical School.
- Curtiland Deville, Jr., MD: Dr. Deville is the Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is the Clinical Director of Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He is the Associate Medical Director at Johns Hopkins National Proton Therapy Center. He is the Chair of the ASTRO Committee on Health, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. He serves on the ACR Commission for Women and Diversity, and ASCO’s Health Equity Committee.
- Sarah S. Donaldson, MD, FACR, FASTRO, FASCO, FAAAS, FAAWR: Dr. Donaldson is the Catharine and Howard Avery Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University of School of Medicine. She is the Director of Mentoring Program at Stanford Department of Radiation Oncology. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine/Institute of Medicine. She is an RSNA, ASTRO, and ACR Gold Medal recipient.
- William Hall, MD: Dr. Hall is Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin. He is the clinical research coordinator for the Atlantic MR Linac International Research Consortium. His research interests include MR and genomically guided RT and translational biomarkers. He has research funding from NCI, ACS, and NIH.
- Christina Chapman, MD: Dr. Chapman is the Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at University of Michigan.
- Patricia Hardenbergh, MD, FASTRO: Dr. Hardenbergh is the ASCO Foundation Improving Cancer Care Grant Award Recipient and Founder of Chartrounds. She is an ABR Trustee (2018-present). She is a member of the ASTRO International Education Subcommittee. She is the Medical Director of Shaw Cancer Center, Edwards CO.
- Krisha J. Howell, MD: Dr. Howell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. She is the Assistant Director of Radiation Oncology Residency and Fellowship Training Program.
- Candice Johnstone, MD, MPH: Dr. Johnstone is Associate Professor in the department of Radiation Oncology at Medical College of Wisconsin. She is a board member of AAWR and WRS and an executive member of SPRO. She serves as alternate Councilor for ACR and is an elected member of ACR’s College Nominating Committee. She serves as an expert on Chartrounds and on the RadiologyInfo.org committee. She is actively involved in ASCO’s Palliative and Supportive Care Symposium.
- Maria Kelly, MD, FACR, FASTRO: Dr. Kelly is the Chief of Radiation Oncology and Associate Chief of Staff at VA, NJHCS. She serves on VA Rad Onc Field Advisory Committee (ROFAC). She is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is Associate Professor Emerita at University of Virginia School of Medicine. She is the immediate past president of AAWR and current member of the executive committee.
- Harvey J. Mamon, MD, PhD: Dr. Mamon is the Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of GI Radiation Oncology at Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.
- Najeeb Mohideen, MD, FASTRO, FACR: Dr. Mohideen is a Radiation Oncologist at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL. He is the Chair of the ASTRO Payment Reform Work Group. He is the Senior Editor of ASTROnews. He is a member of Radiosurgery Society Board of Directors. He is the Chair of the Radiation Oncology Economics Committee for the American College of Radiology.
- Lindsay Puckett, MD: Dr. Puckett is Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology in Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the co-founder of SWRO and co-chair of the SWRO Mentorship Program.
- Leland Rogers, MD, FACRO, FACR, FASTRO: Dr. Rogers is Professor of Radiation Oncology at Barrow Neurological Institute. He is a member of the ASTRO CUAC and Ethics Committee. He is a member of ACR's Commission on Radiation Oncology.
- Erika Swanson, MD: Dr. Swanson is a radiation oncologist at Ascension Medical Group in Milwaukee, WI.
- Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD: Dr. Winkfield is the Director of Hematologic Radiation Oncology at Wake Forest University. She is the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement. She is the Director of Office of Cancer Health Equity. She is the Chair of the ASCO Taskforce on Workforce, Diversity and Inclusion. She is the immediate past chair of ASTRO CHEDI. She is a member of the Advisory Committee to Biden Cancer Initiative. She is Cancer.net Radiation Oncology and Health Equity Associate Editor.
A vast amount of knowledge and variety of experiences were shared by the above-mentioned expert radiation oncologists during this dynamic session. The AAWR is incredibly grateful for the enthusiasm of both the mentors and mentees who participated in this year’s session. It is our hope that this event will continue to grow, forging lifelong professional connections throughout all levels of radiation oncology experience.
AAWR at the Intersociety Summer Conference
Kristin Porter, MD, PhD
AAWR Vice President
It was my great pleasure to represent the AAWR at the 2019 ACR Intersociety Summer Conference (ISC) held August 9-11, 2019 at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, WA. The theme of this year’s conference was “Fostering Wellness and Professional Fulfillment by Developing High Functioning Teams.” Led by Dr. Jonathan B. Kruskal, this year’s meeting was in part a follow-up to the 2018 session on “Managing Stress and Burnout,” and addressed the characteristics, challenges, and leadership of high-functioning, multigenerational teams.
Dr. Claire Bender, ACR Chair, Commission on Human Resources, and Dr. Lori Deitte, ACR Chair, Commission on Publications and Lifelong Learning, presented the ACR Radiology Well-Being Program and the Well-Being Index (WBI) survey tool, created by the Mayo Clinic to help physicians anonymously self-evaluate their level of well-being. The Well-Being Index survey tool is available to all ACR members, who are encouraged to use it regularly to assess their personal well-being (https://www.acr.org/Member-Resources/Benefits/Well-Being#surveytool). This session was followed by the keynote address, presented by Dr. Tait Shanafelt, MD, Chief Wellness Officer, Stanford University Medical Center, who emphasized the impact that leaders have on physician well-being.
The focus of the conference then shifted to developing high functioning teams. Dr. Matthew Hawkins gave an inspiring lecture on what it takes to lead and develop a high functioning team, with examples drawn from Hoosier basketball. Dr. Sonia Gupta gave useful insight into “New Power” and understanding/managing generational differences in team building.
Finally, the discussion focused on the essential requirement of professional behavior for the success of teams, societies, and groups. The consensus was that in our fields such behavior should be expected beyond the workplace, including at national meetings. The attendees agreed a statement should be developed for endorsement by all member societies, or used as a framework for individual societies and organizations to develop their own specific statement. Dr. Cheri Canon led this discussion. A draft Statement of Professionalism will be developed by Dr. Canon and endorsed by ISC Executive Committee members Iris Gibbs, MD, Courtney Raybon, MD, Lori Deitte, MD, Peter Eby, MD, Derek West, MD, Carolyn Meltzer, MD, James Rawson, MD, and Jonathan Kruskal, MD.
Dr. Matthew Hawkins delivering his inspiring lecture on developing high functioning teams, as informed by Indiana basketball.