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 project conducted by the participants themselves that will 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. 

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 also 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).
  • Have 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 project.
  • Become (more) "activated" and ready to take on additional leadership responsibility --whether formal or informal.

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, difficult conversations
  • Understanding the environment.  Understanding systems and complexity; organizations and silos; OHSU and its role in the American healthcare system; understanding OHSU's financial drivers
  • Leading organizations.  Managing projects, improving processes, problem solving and decision making
  • Building collaborations.  Collaboration and community; building effective teams
  • Leading change.  Using conscious influence; building your political coalition

Learning Modality

Learning will occur via content delivery sessions and a "learn-by-doing" application project.

  • 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 action learning project. The 2016 schedule is currently in development but will be similar to the 2015 schedule.

  • Action Learning Project: What difference would you like to make at OHSU? The goal of the action learning project is to provide a learn-by-doing experience that creates value both for the participants and OHSU. All participants will develop an initial proposal for a project to make a difference in your unit at OHSU. Teams of 4-6 participants will select one individual's project to pursue as a group project throughout the later months of the program. Projects from prior years have addressed a multitude of issues ranging from quality and process improvement in OHSU clinics to fostering research collaborations to improving junior faculty retention.

Comments from Past Participants

  • “The diversity of leadership skills was inspiring, there is no single path. The importance of having clear, short list goals that can be easily explained - was very helpful."
  • "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."


There is no dollar cost to participants or participants' departments for this program for the cohort beginning in January 2016. 

Schedule and Time Commitment

The 2016 program is scheduled to run from Tuesday, January 5, to Tuesday, June 7, 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
Contact 503-346-0365 or
Paths to Leadership Participants 2010-2015