Evaluating a leadership program: a comparative, longitudinal study to assess the impact of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women

Acad Med. 2008 May;83(5):488-95. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31816be551.


Purpose: The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program provides an external yearlong development program for senior women faculty in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. This study aims to determine the extent to which program participants, compared with women from two comparison groups, aspire to leadership, demonstrate mastery of leadership competencies, and attain leadership positions.

Method: A pre-/posttest methodology and longitudinal structure were used to evaluate the impact of ELAM participation. Participants from two ELAM cohorts were compared with women who applied but were not accepted into the ELAM program (NON) and women from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Faculty Roster. The AAMC group was a baseline for midcareer faculty; the NON group allowed comparison for leadership aspiration. Baseline data were collected in 2002, with follow-up data collected in 2006. Sixteen leadership indicators were considered: administrative leadership attainment (four indicators), full professor academic rank (one), leadership competencies and readiness (eight), and leadership aspirations and education (three).

Results: For 15 of the indicators, ELAM participants scored higher than AAMC and NON groups, and for one indicator they scored higher than only the AAMC group (aspiration to leadership outside academic health centers). The differences were statistically significant for 12 indicators and were distributed across the categories. These included seven of the leadership competencies, three of the administrative leadership attainment indicators, and two of the leadership aspirations and education indicators.

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that the ELAM program has a beneficial impact on ELAM fellows in terms of leadership behaviors and career progression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Career Mobility*
  • District of Columbia
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Philadelphia
  • Physicians, Women*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Staff Development*