Paths To Leadership

A School of Medicine Program
for Developing Faculty Leaders

Paths to Leadership (PTL) is a School of Medicine program designed to provide emerging faculty leaders with the knowledge and skills to be effective leaders and managers. The learning is built around a leadership practicum designed by the participants themselves to deliver real value both to the participants and to OHSU. This program is offered by the OHSU Division of Management under the sponsorship of the School of Medicine. Many past participants have either taken on formal leadership roles or created their own opportunities for leadership after completion of the Paths to Leadership experience.

Who is this intended for?

Paths to Leadership is intended for School of Medicine faculty who want to make a difference at OHSU. It is for faculty who are currently in—or taking on—formal or informal leadership roles within their departments, divisions, or elsewhere in the School of Medicine or OHSU. Individuals who are considering taking on such roles or wish to develop their individual leadership skills are invited to apply. 


Why do this program?

Through Paths to Leadership participants will:

  • Develop a leadership mindset (i.e., learn how to think—and act—like leaders). 
  • Cultivate an increased understanding of OHSU and how they can make a difference.
  • Make a significant contribution to an important OHSU issue through a learn-by-doing leadership practicum.
  • Become (more) "activated" and ready to take on additional formal or informal leadership responsibility

How will OHSU benefit?

OHSU will benefit from Paths to Leadership by:

  • Improving its leadership and management capacity
  • Leveraging participants' experience to address organizational issues
  • Promoting a learning culture
  • Developing and sustaining champions for change

Learning Overview

Paths to Leadership is organized around five learning themes:

  • Growing self and broadening perspectives. Building on strengths; preparing for difficult conversations; reframing complex organizational challenges using multiple lenses
  • Understanding the environment. Understanding the challenges facing academic health centers; OHSU and its role in the American healthcare system; OHSU's financial drivers
  • Leading organizations. Managing projects; improving processes; problem solving, decision making
  • Building collaborations. Communication for collaboration and community; building effective teams
  • Leading change. Clarifying purpose and vision; using conscious influence; building a coalition

Learning Modality

  • Weekly face-to-face sessions. Weekly we engage the learning themes identified above as well as the knowledge, skills, and tools that will be needed in the leadership practicum.
  • Leadership Practicum: What difference would you like to make at OHSU? The goal of the leadership practicum is to provide a learn-by-doing experience that creates value both for the participants and OHSU/SoM. All participants will develop an initial proposal for a change initiative or improvement project to make a difference in their respective units. Participants will have the option of pursuing their own change initiatives or partnering with other participants. 

Comments from Past Participants

  • "The diversity of leadership skills was inspiring, there is no single path.
  • "It helped me think about plans and the future in ways I should have done earlier but never found the time to do."
  • "Any academic physician needs this training. "
  • "What I learned is that I need to start with myself - that to be an effective leader I need to step outside of my comfortable ways of thinking and interacting in order to hear and understand others."


There is no dollar cost to participants or participants' departments for this program for the cohort beginning in January 2017. 

Schedule and Time Commitment

The 2017 program is scheduled to run from Tuesday, January 10, to Tuesday, June 6, on consecutive Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00 PM in Mackenzie Hall, Room 2201. Typically, participants will spend up to 4 hours per week in pre- and post-session reading and project work.

Further Information and to apply
Applications are available at this web link and are due Monday, November 28.
Contact Niki Steckler or  
Paths to Leadership Learning Topics - 2016
Paths to Leadership Participants 2010-2016