Women in Academic Medicine (WAM)

WAM Committee - Aug 2014 SMALLThe Women in Academic Medicine Committee was established as a standing committee of the School of Medicine in 1993 to address issues of concern to women faculty including career advancement, career satisfaction, participation by women on decision-making bodies at OHSU, pay equity, discrimination, and parenting and schedule flexibility issues. The perspectives of women medical and graduate students and residents are sought. Recommendations from the committee are designed to benefit all members of the School of Medicine.

New: Women in Medicine LBGTQ leadership scholarship

Women's stories project: Capturing the perspectives of senior faculty women

Five faculty members, selected from various stages in their careers, have generously shared their stories – with admirable frankness – and have all answered this question: What advice would you give to junior faculty based on your experiences as a woman in academic medicine?

Virginia Brooks, PhD

A logical path to success in academic medicine

Dr. BrooksTop tier scientists at academic medical centers sometimes begrudge the time spent away from their labs to pass on their wisdom in the classroom to the next generation. Virginia Brooks, PhD, is indisputably not one of them. She’s passionate about teaching, a quality that has earned her a raft of excellence in teaching awards.  Read More »

Sima Desai, MD

A medical detective on the trail of academic mastery

Dr. DesaiAs a child of immigrant parents, Dr. Desai's sense of "otherness" cast a shadow over her youth. "Discrimination was a fair constant for much of my growing up years," she says. "We were the only dark-skinned people in the area. Our family was integrating into a society… and I was straddling two worlds." Those early experiences taught Dr. Desai to refrain from judging others and to work to understand their perspective.  Read More »

Karen Deveney, MD

Reflections on a trailblazing career in surgery

Dr. DeveneyAsk Karen Deveney, MD, what personal qualities she believes have most contributed to her success as a physician, surgeon, teacher and director of arguably one of the best surgical residency programs in the country, and she has a ready answer: "Competitiveness, assertiveness and tenacity, otherwise known," she laughs, "as stubbornness."  Read More »

Susan Orloff, MD

By opening her own doors, she’s found success in academic medicine

Dr. OrloffWhen her spine was fractured in six places in a terrible biking accident, Susan Orloff's career as a surgeon seemed to be over even before it started. Her orthopaedic surgeon told her she would never be able to endure the pain of standing at the operating table for any length of time, and she might as well give up her career as a surgeon. Read more »

Frances Storrs, MD

Part activist, part feminist makes for a robust academic career

Dr. StorrsDr. Storrs was the first woman to complete a residency in the medical school's dermatology department and is a path-breaking physician, researcher and mentor. Her skills in the classroom have earned her many teaching and service awards. And along the way – through example and activism – she's fought to change the culture of academic medicine. Read More »

The Fund for the Advancement of Women's Leadership

In 2010, a group of senior women faculty in the School of Medicine at OHSU came together to establish—and provided the seed funding to—the Fund for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership. The intent of this group of senior women faculty was to change the culture of OHSU by reducing obstacles that impede the progress of women leaders and to create an environment where men and women share leadership equally. The initial contributions to the Fund helped to publish the Stories Project, which tells the unique advancement stories of five senior women faculty. The Fund also provided major support for the inaugural Advancing Women in Leadership Conference in May 2013.

What will your gift to the Fund for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership do?

  • Support an annual Advancing Women in Leadership Conference under the leadership of the School of Medicine’s Women in Academic Medicine Committee. This conference aims to serve faculty, staff and students in their leadership pursuits by providing leadership-specific topics and forums for mentoring and networking.
  • Support professional development of junior women faculty through conference support and travel stipends to outside laboratories and institutions for career development.
  • Acknowledge outstanding women faculty at OHSU.
  • Build the Fund to endowment level enabling donors to provide junior faculty with financial support at pivotal times in their careers, provide executive leadership fellowships and/or establish endowed professorships for women faculty leaders.

More info about the fund »

Women's leadership conference


Organizing around women's leadership
Meet award-winners and watch video from the 2014 Women's Leadership Conference.
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2013 Conference: Leaders among us
Catch video of Women's Leadership Conference hosted by WAM.
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