Interested in applying for LEADS?

Applications for LEADS are currently CLOSED.

We will post information about applications for the 2020-2021 LEADS cohort when available.

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


Nearly 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, 42 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 Winter Meeting and access to the ADFM 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 Associate 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 (2019-2020)

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

  • After acceptance (December 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 2019 - ADFM Winter Meeting (February 13-16, 2019 in Houston, TX)
    • Participate in the full meeting as well as some additional programming:
      • ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop, February 13, 2019
      • ADFM Leadership Preconference, February 13, 2019
      • Management Dilemmas Dinner workshop, February 15, 2019
    • 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
    • Complete Fellowship project focused on increasing skills in an area for leadership development identified from the Leadership Competencies self assessment.
    • Participate in LEADS Program webinars (topics determined by Fellows, dates TBD)
  • November 2019 – AAMC Annual Meeting
    • Attend the AAMC Annual Meeting (November 8-12, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ)
      • Note that this is NOT covered by the program cost though attendance is strongly encouraged.
    • Attend ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop, November 7, 2020 (tentative date, in conjunction with AAMC meeting)
    • Dinner with ADFM Board members (optional)
  • February 2020 – ADFM Winter Meeting (February 12-15, 2020 in New Orleans, LA)
    • Participate in the full meeting as well as some additional programming:
      • ADFM LEADS Fellowship Workshop, February 12, 2020
      • ADFM Leadership Preconference, February 12, 2020
      • Management Dilemmas Dinner workshop, February 14, 2020
    • Present LEADS Fellowship Project (usually at a breakfast topic table)
  • After fellowship:
    • Continue in chairs’ listserve for one additional year (until February 2021)
    • Outgoing self-assessment of Leadership Competencies
    • Access LEADS Program webinars and resources as desired


Program Cost and Commitments

The cost of participation in the ADFM LEADS Fellowship is $3700.  This fee covers all materials and expenses for LEADS Program sessions. It also covers the registration fees for the two ADFM Winter meetings 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.