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Julie Freischlag MD
In order to become a successful Division Chief, I believe one needs to have matured to the point that your goals are no longer just your own personal goals but the goals are for the group or Division you are planning to lead. I think you then have to have the mindset to distribute the resources fairly to your group- not preferentially to yourself. The most common complaint I hear from academic surgeons is that things are not fair at their institution. As a Division Chief, you can try to make things as fair as possible and to appreciate each member of the Division for their contribution.
The job of Division Chief is administrative (25-50%), clinical and research as well depending on your preference. Time is also spent mentoring those faculty in your Division as well as fellows, residents, and students. There is a lot of time spent on the finances as that is what allows you to grow and expand. You should be at least an Associate Professor and have had experience in running something such as a VA position, a committee, a research lab or a clinic. You also should have the beginnings of a national reputation for your clinical work or your research. Also, serving on national committees or being an officer in these societies can be helpful to get your name known. By volunteering to do some of these things at your institution, you can prepare yourself to be a candidate for Division Chief and also find out is you like being in charge and responsible.
To Negotiate the Job:
To be a successful Division Chief, you have to have a good working relationship with your Chair and your faculty. You should be flexible to allow change to occur and you need to realize that not all your plans will come to fruition like you had planned. You need to treat others like you would like to be treated. You need to be available and upbeat so that the group will find you inspiring. You also need to have patience and realize that good things happen over time- sometimes a long time.
Designed for women associate or full professors with clear potential for advancement to a major administrative position such as section or department head.
This program is an in depth national program that has been developed for women academic faculty who demonstrate the greatest potential for assuming executive leadership positions within the next 5 years at academic health centers.
MCP Hahnemann University