Meet the current LEADS fellows!

Learn more about the current LEADS cohort and their LEADS projects.

ADFM LEADS: Leadership Education for Academic Development and Success

(the 2020-2021 LEADS Fellows at the ADFM 2020 Annual Conference)


A decade ago, ADFM recognized the need for a robust and diverse leadership pipeline to meet the growing needs of academic departments of family medicine for both senior leaders and department chairs. Department-level senior leadership positions are an important part of the Chair leadership pipeline, and effective succession planning for chairs. The ADFM LEADS fellowship is a 1-year program designed for family physicians and senior family medicine faculty who either aspire to becoming a department chair or other senior leadership position in academic family medicine, or want to further explore if these roles would be a good career fit. Since 2009, 52 fellows have completed or are currently participating in the ADFM fellowship. Almost half of these fellows have assumed interim or permanent chair positions, others have gone on to assume department-level senior leadership roles in academic family medicine.



The ADFM LEADS Fellowship Program provides interactive training, tools, and experiential learning for faculty aspiring to senior leadership positions, including Department Chair, and those interested in exploring whether these positions might be a good career fit. The program is structured around the Leadership Competencies for Family Medicine Department Chairs.


In the LEADS program, you’ll:

  • Identify areas for professional development from the leadership competencies and complete a project designed to improve skills in some of these areas;
  • Develop an ongoing connection with one-on-one advising from an experienced Department Chair on your project and career goals;
  • Participate in ADFM’s member offerings, including attendance at the ADFM Annual Conference and access to the ADFM Chair listserve;
  • Access a number of trainings and resources specifically designed for LEADS participants.


Eligibility Criteria

Those who are eligible for the ADFM LEADS Fellowship Program are faculty in Departments of Family Medicine (or equivalent) with at least an Assistant Professor rank and have an MD, DO, or PhD degree (or equivalent doctoral degree) with at least 3 years of experience working in a department of family medicine and a clinical practice in family medicine if applicable.

Applicants are expected to have involvement in each of the department’s mission areas (education, clinical, research/scholarship and administration) and should demonstrate evidence of being chosen for a leadership role within their department/institution and/or outside institutions.

Applicants are asked to propose a year-long LEADS Fellowship project as part of their application (more below). Competitive applicants will review the Leadership Competencies for Family Medicine Department Chairs. At least one of their project objectives must be related to increasing the candidate’s skills in an area for professional growth selected from the Leadership Competencies. (Note that final project objectives may change after competencies assessment and discussion with fellowship advisors and/or supporting department chair.)


Program Elements and Schedule

The ADFM LEADS Fellowship is a year-long program (starting and ending in February at the ADFM Annual Conference). It includes the following activities:

  • After acceptance (~October to January):
    • Self-assessment of incoming strengths and areas for professional development in Leadership Competencies for Family Medicine Department Chairs
    • Join ADFM Chairs’ listserve
    • Assignment of a fellowship advisor
  • February - ADFM Annual Conference (see call for applications for specific dates) 
    • Participate in the full meeting as well as some additional programming:
      • ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop
      • ADFM Leadership Preconference
      • Leadership & Management Dilemmas workshop
    • Arrange to meet with Fellowship Advisor in person
  • Throughout the year
    • Arrange ongoing meetings with fellowship advisor by phone and email, in person when possible
    • Weekly LEADS hour: Wednesdays 1-2pm Eastern/12-1pm Central. Depending on week, this time includes:
      • LEADS Program webinars (usually 3-4/yr; topics determined by Fellows)
      • Cohort check-in time
      • Project work time
    • Complete Fellowship project focused on increasing skills in an area for leadership development identified from the Leadership Competencies self-assessment.
  • November – AAMC Annual Meeting (see call for applications for specific dates) 
    •  Attend the AAMC Annual Meeting
      • Note that this is NOT covered by the program cost though attendance is strongly encouraged.
    • Attend ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop (in conjunction with AAMC meeting, final date TBD)
  • February – ADFM Annual Conference (see call for applications for specific dates)
    • Participate in the full meeting as well as some additional programming:
      • ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop
      • ADFM Leadership Preconference
      • Leadership & Management Dilemmas workshop
    • Present LEADS Fellowship Project (usually at a breakfast topic table)
  • After fellowship:
    • Outgoing self-assessment of Leadership Competencies
    • Continue in chairs’ listserve for one additional year (until February after LEADS year)
    • Access LEADS Program webinars and resources as desired
    • Ongoing notification of open Chair positions (optional)


Program Cost and Commitments

The cost of participation in the ADFM LEADS Fellowship in 2021 is $4,000 ($6,000 for anyone coming from a non-member entity).  This fee covers all materials and expenses for LEADS Program sessions. It also covers the registration fees for the two ADFM Annual Conferences attended by LEADS Fellows.

Travel expenses and costs associated with AAMC Annual Meeting attendance are the responsibility of the fellow and/or their supporting department.





Meet the 2020-2021 LEADS Alumni!