Virtual Leadership Summit is a success

July 6, 2020

Virtual Leadership Summit is a success

On June 27, the College held its fourth annual Leadership Summit. This year it was a full-day virtual event that was attended by 21 emerging leaders (45 years or younger or within 10 years of practice) from our membership. The participants were a mix of academic, private practice and government/military allergists from 15 states representing the Midwest, Northeast, South Central, Southeast and West regions.

The Summit was designed to provide these young leaders with a solid skill set they can build on and apply in their day-to-day practice and work with the College. The intense course covered many aspects of effective communication, including how to relate to others, influence positive communication, overcome communication barriers and dissolve conflict. Participants were also introduced to a variety of tools to coach/mentor others and to demonstrate courage and overcome personal fears as leaders.

“We all know that young allergists are the future of the specialty, and this group of new leaders is uniquely prepared to tackle the challenges ahead,” said Michael Blaiss, MD, FACAAI, executive medical director. During the highly interactive course, participants did everything from exploring their behavior styles to learning how to effectively lead a team. The meeting facilitator received rave reviews from attendees and was described as “knowledgeable,” “dynamic,” “very engaging” and able to “manage questions and difficult topics,” while presenting material that was highly relevant and practical. 

While the College was not able to have an in-person Summit this year, participants enjoyed the interaction offered via the virtual platform. “The Zoom platform was surprisingly effective,” said Stephanie Mawhirt, DO. “I loved how all the participants shared their ideas and experiences.” These sentiments were echoed by other participants who found the session to be highly engaging. They appreciated being able to participate in small group discussions via the virtual breakout rooms.

Participants in the 2020 Leadership Summit met via Zoom.

“I am grateful I was given the opportunity to participate in this year's Leadership Summit,” said Vivek Rao, MD, FACAAI. “The session was extremely educational. It gave me a number of ideas on changes I can make to allow me to communicate more effectively and run meetings in a more productive manner.” The course is designed so attendees can easily take these tools and immediately put them into practice. Amee Majmundar, MD, FACAAI, plans to use what she’s learned to “build stronger relationships with colleagues and manage staff with more ease.”

Overall, the Summit was a great success. If you are interested in participating next year, look for an announcement in College Insider in the winter on how to apply for the 2021 Summit in Chicago. Participants must be 45 years or younger or within 10 years of practice. There is no fee to attend (you’ll need to cover your travel expenses, if the course moves back to a face-to-face meeting). Participants have reported that the Summit is well worth the travel because the skills learned are invaluable.

 “All the tips and techniques discussed are very practical and applicable to day-to-day life,” said Lukena Karkhanis, MD. 

The College would like to express appreciation to AstraZeneca for sponsoring the 2020 Leadership Summit. Special thanks to our participants and the various members of the College Board who participated in discussions and interactive activities.