Introduction: Residents, fellows, and faculty members play important roles in every aspect of a successful school: educating students, doing research, providing clinical services, and engaging in community service. When residents and faculty members are hired there is the expectation that careers will be nurtured. Effective mentoring strategies are often discussed, but what can become lost in the culture of academic medicine is the realization of how important/essential building professional networks over the lifetime of a career can be. This resource is a workshop for faculty, residents, fellows, and medical students close to beginning residency training on effective strategies for taking the initiative and building professional networks. Methods: Activities include a self-reflection on participants’ reasons for attending the workshop, a brief summary of relevant literature, small- and large-group case vignettes discussions, and the development of personal “action plans.” The workshop can be presented in 75 to 90 minutes. Results: This workshop has been presented several times to different audiences in conjunction with national and regional meetings, and for institutional faculty development. An evaluation survey has provided feedback that has been positive and informative. Content, organization, active learning/audience participation, enjoyment, and usefulness aspects of this resource have consistently received strong ratings. Discussion: Similar to the corporate world where employers generally understand the importance of training in requisite skill enhancement that will lead to success in new positions, medical schools must create professional development activities to provide information/coaching to help participants build strategies and professional networking relationships. These skills are important for professionals to allow them to individualize and optimize successful careers trajectories.
- State key strategies for developing productive professional networks.
- Identify networking opportunities at their own institution and beyond.
- Apply networking strategies to advance professional development and career advancement.
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