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  • The Seven Habits of Highly

    Effective Junior Faculty

    Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS, University of Pittsburgh

    Sarah Tilstra, MD, MS, University of Pittsburgh

    Abby L Spencer MD, MS, FACP, Cleveland Clinic

    *Rachel Bonnema, MD, MS, University of Nebraska

  • Workshop Goals

    Identify 7 habits that successful junior faculty master

    Identify pitfalls and challenges to mastery

    Provide framework for application of these habits

    Discuss key strategies to arm you (& your mentees)

    for success: skills overlap and reinforce each other

  • Seven Habits

    Saying No

    Conflict Resolution

    Avoiding the Trainee Trap

    Avoiding the Friend Trap

    Agenda Setting

    Playing to your Strengths

    Finding and Managing Mentors

  • Agenda

    Introductions and Group Brainstorming

    Seven Habits:


    Large group skit-debriefing/discussion

    Outlining skills and strategies

    Group Discussion and Wrap-Up

  • What is difficult about being junior faculty?

    Junior faculty pitfalls that senior faculty in

    the room have noticed?

    How long have you been faculty?

    What brings you here?

  • Habit #1 Saying No

    Sarah Tilstra, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor of Medicine


    1) Why is saying NO, really hard?

    2) Is there a right way to say no?

  • Saying NO is Hard

    You dont want to be perceived as lazy,

    unsupportive, not a team player, or as the

    person that cant handle it- especially at work

    When women say no- they are viewed as non-

    communal, and even $itchy

    May be passed-over for future opportunities and

    turned down for favors

    We like to be liked!

  • Why Say NO

    Not in your best interest or aligned with career


    Outside of your skillset

    Unable to meet the deadline

    Will compromise your mental/physical health or

    that of your familys


  • Why SHOULDNT You Say No (i.e. Why say YES!)

    Career opportunity or advancement in an area

    you may not have considered

    Chance to learn a new skillset

    Opportunity to network (sometimes its WHO you


    You are mentored to say yes

    To be a team player

    Because its your turn

    You may need a favor someday

  • Rules for Saying NO

    Get more information prior to committing Yes/No

    How could this opportunity benefit your career?

    Who would be your collaborators? Mentor?

    Any more protected time? Increase in pay? Do you need

    these logistics in writing prior to committing?

    Get advice from your mentor for all major decisions!

    Could you say YES in the future?

    Worthy opportunity, timing is terrible

    I would really like to sit on the curriculum committee but

    this year my clinical obligations preclude me from

    accepting any more commitments. However, if a spot

    opens up next year, I would appreciate it if you would

    consider me again for this position.

  • Rules for Saying NO

    (Consider) explaining why you are saying no

    High stakes: Taking on a QI project right now will

    detract from my ability to keep up with my clinical and

    teaching responsibilities at the level that I want to


    Low stakes: No, I am unable to ..add 2 hours of

    clinic on this week

    Dont forget about negotiation, can you come to

    a compromise?

    I am unable to pick up any additional clinic prior to

    May 1, but I am able to give 4 additional hours during


  • Rules for Saying NO

    Communicate clearly, clarify all negotiations prior to

    settling the conversation

    Just to make sure we are on the same page, lets

    review what we have discussed.

    Offer alternatives (what about your office buddy who

    also LOVES teaching physical exam to medical

    students, needs to buff her CV and actually has time


    Limit the apologies

    Thank (them) for considering you for this opportunity

  • Habit #2

    Conflict Resolution

  • Issues: Conflict Resolution

    Do not let the behavior of others destroy

    your inner peace. -Dalai Lama

    Good mantra

    To a point

  • Issues: Conflict Resolution

    Do not let the behavior of others destroy your

    inner peace. -Dalai Lama

    Good mantra

    To a point

    Impossible to get through a year, much less a

    day, without conflicts arising

    Academic medicine can feel like a fishbowl

  • From the Original 7 Habits




    Important Unimportant

    Resident in crisis

    Patient care issue

    Grant deadline

    Dispute over authorship

    Holiday/weekend coverage

    Ownership of a leadership role

    Dealing with problem learner

    Interpersonal issues

    Showing up late

    Failure to respond to emails

    Annoying guy in meetings


    Colleague corners you

    in parking garage to

    discuss scheduling;

    youre trying to get to

    day care before 6 pm

    Disagreement on

    topics for pre-clinic


  • Conflict Resolution: How (Short-Term)

    Distinguish disagreement from conflict

    Begin with the end in mind

    How will you define successful resolution?

    What things are you willing to compromise?

    What roadblocks to you anticipate?

    Whats the first sentence to come out of your


    Use your (trusted) peer mentors

    Enter with curiosity helps identify your contribution

    to the conflict, easier to reach win/win

    AVOID rapid-fire email replies

  • Conflict Resolution: How (Long-Term)

    Be proactive in:

    Minimizing conflict

    Choosing to tackle conflicts you can resolve

    Starting with priorities

    Utilize mentors

    Ask for advice/feedback


    Sharpen the Saw

    Identify triggers/unique challenges

    Practice in low-stakes situation

    Skills more accessible in urgent/difficult conflicts

  • Habit # 3 Avoiding

    the Trainee Trap

    Jennifer Corbelli, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor of Medicine

  • Skit #3

    Switch Day

  • Case Discussion

    1) Should Jen have done more to advocate for

    herself when she was taking over Karens

    inpatient team? What about when they met

    about precepting?

    2) Was this more an example of Jen choosing her

    battles, or of avoiding conflict rather than trying

    to resolve it?

  • Issues: The Trainee Trap Many junior faculty who stay where they train at risk to

    be treated as trainees rather than peers

    Senior faculty may often be doing it unintentionally,

    and/or mean well

    Sometimes being caught in the trap is beneficial

    Can help with ongoing professional development

    Back-up sometimes necessary

    Depends on setting/frequency/degree/whether actual

    trainees perceive this dynamic

  • Avoiding the Trainee Trap: Why

    May set the tone for ongoing relationships with co-

    faculty members

    Undermines your authority with trainees (who may

    treat you as a friendstay tuned)

    Creates resentment; decreases work satisfaction

    May increase risk of being passed over for

    opportunities (leadership/research/mentoring)

  • Avoiding the Trainee Trap:

    Daily Interactions

    Make the switch from Dr . . . to first name

    Sit at the Table1

    Speak your Truth1

    Highlight what you offer

    (in real time)

    Fellowship training

    Research expertise

    Energy/New Ideas

    OK (and good) to role model lifelong learning in front

    of trainees (but you set the tone for when/how)

    Sandberg 2013

  • Avoiding the Trainee Trap:

    The Long Game

    Name it (junior faculty): I really appreciate the chance

    to learn . . . from you . . .

    Redirects away from clinical/public setting

    Helps you highlight where you are still learning vs.

    where you are comfortable

    Name it (senior faculty): I want to help you transition. .

    . what are the areas and ways I can be most helpful?

    Put in the time and establish yourself (yr 1 not yr 3)

    Agenda setting/mentoring/playing to your strengths

    Identify a niche/identify areas for improvement

  • Habit # 4 Avoiding

    the Friend Trap

    Sarah Tilstra, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor of Medicine

  • Story time??

  • The Friend Trap

    You have finally made it to faculty status, but

    your underlings still see you as their buddy

    Not respected in your current position of

    authority, expertise

    Internal conflict about how much authority to

    exert while still maintaining a good relationship

    with your former peers and current friends

    Usually an issue when you stay at one institution

    Can be better when assuming faculty role at

    separate institution from training

  • How to Avoid the Friend Trap

    Recognize how your daily habits/interactions

    contribute to this dynamic (saw this earlier!)

    How do you introduce yourself?

    Language? Gossip? Complain?

    Earn respect:

    Pick and choose your teaching battles (teach to your


    Set expectations, and speak up immediately when

    they are not met

  • How to Avoid the Friend Trap

    Respect your learners autonomy and


    Dont micromanage their patients just to exert control,

    it could only backfire

    Realize how much you can learn from learners and

    be humble about the things they teach you

    Try to keep your work life and your friend life


    Do work stuff at work

    Follow and enforce the rules

    Dont become facebook friends with residents

  • Take-Home Point: Avoiding the

    Friend Trap

    Good News: Unlike the other 6 habits, this

    issue is likely to eventually solve itself over time

    Will happen more quickly with the right skills

    and strategies

  • Habit #5

    Agenda Setting

  • Skit #2 Meeting with the Division Chief

  • Case Discussion: Agenda Setting

    How do you set an agenda in your first couple

    of years on faculty without experience in


    How do you balance your time to achieve goals

    and measure success as a junior faculty


  • Issues

    You thought youd naturally become a better

    leader, teacher, etc, just by being involved in


    You dont know how to measure your progress

    You dont know how to be deliberate about

    working toward your goals

  • Being Busy Does Not Equal

    Being Productive

    Look at everyone around you. They all seem so busy

    running from meeting to meeting and firing off emails.

    Yet how many of them are really producing, really

    succeeding at a high level?

    Success doesnt come from movement and activity. It

    comes from focus from ensuring that your time is

    used efficiently and productively. You get the same

    number of hours in the day as everyone else. Use yours

    wisely. After all, youre the product of your output, not

    your effort.

  • Agenda Setting

    Junior faculty need to identify their career goals

    to be able to recognize and take opportunities

    for growth and development congruent with

    overall career plans

    You must be deliberate in laying out an agenda

    to achieve individual objectives: it wont happen

    along the way without being proactive and

    reflecting on your progress

  • Agenda Setting: Why

    Each year goes by quickly

    A lot of opportunities availableeasy to be

    busy without gaining skills

    Specific skill development





    Ability to try new things

  • Career Planning: Life-long Process

    Step 1

    Who am I? What are my interests, skills, values,

    personality, style?

    Step 2

    What do I want?

    What are my options?

    Step 3

    How do I get there?

    What am I willing to do?

    Step 4

    What is my plan to get to my goal?

  • Agenda Setting: How

    Begin with the end in mind

    Start with a clear understanding of your


    Easy to get caught up in an activity trap

    Sit down with a mentor(s) and outline key




  • Agenda Setting: How

    Brainstorm strategies for achieving these goals

    What skills are necessary, how will you gain them?

    In what programs/activities do you want to get


    What is your timetable?

    When will you accomplish these tasks? How do

    they fit into your daily/weekly responsibilities?

    Talk to other faculty, division/department chair about

    what is possible

    Organize your week/month according to your goals

    Evaluation: How do you know you are achieving goals?

  • Habit #6

    Playing to your Strengths

  • Playing to Your Strengths

    Knowing your strengths and deliberately

    matching tasks to those strengths helps ensure

    professional successes

    Not necessarily what you are good at

  • Playing to your Strengths - recall

    You have an opportunity to be part of the

    committee to redesign the residency


    Fits with your goal of wanting to be more involved

    with the residency program, but you didnt train here

    and dont really know much about each rotation.

    How will you succeed and impress the committee and

    program leadership?

  • Issues

    Big task-where to even start?

    Reflect on your personal goals

    Chance to get to know the program/residents

    You had been involved with a similar project as a

    chief resident

    Pros/Conswhat happens if you fail?

  • Playing to Your Strengths: Why

    Successful people have one thing in common:

    they focus on strengths and manage around


    Cant be great at everything

    Unique experiences and abilities to draw from to

    address certain issues

    Solve certain problems very quickly without

    much thought or effort

  • Playing to Your Strengths: How

  • Playing to Your Strengths: How

    Identify Strengths

    Collect feedback from a variety of people inside and

    outside work

    Link specific examples when those were utilized in

    ways that were meaningful to them

    Identify common themes among the feedback

    Write a description of yourself that summarizes

    and distills the accumulated information

    Redesign personal job description to build on

    what you are good at

    Reflected Best Self exerciseHarvard Business Review

  • Habit #7 Mentorship

    Abby L Spencer MD, MS, FACP

    Director Internal Medicine Residency Program

    Vice Chairman of Education Medicine Institute

  • Skit #1 Abby and the Mentor


    1) Was this a good outcome. Why/why not?

    1) What did Abby do well? What could she have

    done differently to better impact her desired


  • Mentorship- What is it? How is a mentor different from:

    A role model?

    A coach?

    A sponsor?




    Promoting development

  • Mentorship- Why?

    People with mentors make more money than

    those without mentors. T/F

    People with mentors derive greater job and career

    satisfaction than those without mentors. T/F

    People with mentors have increased resources,

    time, publications, and grants T?F

    People with mentors are promoted more than

    those without mentors. T/F

  • Mentorship: What might you want or

    need from a mentor?


















    Write a


    Promotion Finding a niche




  • Identify Needs Then Identify Mentors












    Write a


    Promotion Finding a niche

  • Mentor






    Identify Needs Then Ident...