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Members of the Equip ProgramBy Merin C. MacDonald | Date published: April 3, 2024

Equip Program Provides Mid-Career Women Faculty Skills for Career Development 

The Equip Program at UMass Chan Medical School provides mid-career women faculty the opportunity to improve their communication skills through peer coaching and skills-based practice. Led by Jennifer Reidy, MD, course director, and chief and professor of medicine in the Division of Palliative Care, and Emily Green, MD, assistant vice provost of Faculty Affairs, the six-session program, provides hands-on practice of various skills including elevator speeches, brief high-impact presentations, effective use of social media, negotiation skills, navigating workplace conflict, and managing, with feedback from peers and facilitators.  

Seven out of the eight faculty who participated in this year’s program were from the Department of Medicine including Isabel Castro, DO, of Palliative Care, Deepika Devuni, MD, of Gastroenterology, Lara Kovell, MD, of Cardiovascular Medicine, Anila Medina, MD, of Geriatric Medicine, and Karen Salomon-Escoto, MD, Zheni Stavre, MD, and Peggy Wu, MD, all of Rheumatology. The program which ran from January through March, was well-received with participants reporting that it was “transformational”, “invaluable”, and a “great experience”. 

“The program was meticulously designed, and I walked away from each session with invaluable pearls I could implement immediately and saw results right away,” said Dr. Salomon-Escoto. “Equip was a key catalyst at a time when I most needed it.” Dr. Stavre added, “I did not expect to have my eyes opened to the world of effective communication in the workplace, while also getting to know and connect with a great group of women physicians. This was one of the best experiences I've had as UMass faculty, and I'll cherish and refer to it for years to come.” Dr. Wu concluded, “The program gave me the chance to connect and learn from women in different subspecialties with varying interests.  It's exciting to be given a toolbox of skills to assist us in having important conversations about our careers.” 

The Equip Program will be offered again in early 2025 and the call for nominations will be released in the fall. More information about the program, reported outcomes, and the nomination process can be found here.