Over the years, women have outnumbered men in medical school entry and matriculation; however, only 19% of department chairs or deans are women. The increase in women matriculating into medical schools and biomedical research programs has not resulted in gender equity within leadership roles in our nation’s institutions. In 2019, only 18% of the 153 total deans identified as women. We can and must do better. The Spurring Success for Women in Medicine & Science (SSWIMS) fellowship has been designed with this charge.
The College of Medicine- Tucson is committed to fostering the leadership skills in early and mid-career women necessary to catapult them to the topmost positions in Academic Health Center executive ranks. Knowing that women are facing structural obstacles to realizing their leadership potential, we have developed the SSWIMS fellowship which offers a scaffolded approach to developing those inherent skills to actively seek continued promotion within the institution.
The SSWIMS curriculum takes place over 12 months. Every second Wednesday of each month SSWIMS Fellows attend a 4-hour session from 1-5pm. The sessions will touch on a variety of topics that provide coaching, mentorship, and networking opportunities that will accelerate a path to academic leadership. SSWIMS fellows also receive 4 hours of protected time from their department to participate in these sessions.