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Author Notes:

Fred Sanfilippo, 730GCR, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. Email: fred.sanfilippo@emory.edu

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Priscilla Markwood, Mel Limson, and Jen Norman from the APC Office.

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Research Funding:

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  • advice
  • AHC leaders
  • conflicts
  • department chair
  • senior fellows

Dealing With Deans and Academic Medical Center Leadership


Journal Title:

Academic Pathology


Volume 5


, Pages 237428951876546-237428951876546

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The 2017 Association of Pathology Chairs Annual Meeting included a session for department chairs and other department leaders on “how to deal with deans and academic medical center leadership.” The session was focused on discussing ways to foster positive relationships with university, medical school, and health system leaders, and productively address issues and opportunities with them. Presentations and a panel discussion were provided by 4 former pathology chairs who subsequently have served as medical deans and in other leadership positions including university provost, medical center CEO, and health system board chair. There was a strong consensus among the participants on how best to deal with superiors about problems, conflicts, and requests for additional resources and authority. The importance of teamwork and accountability in developing a constructive and collaborative relationship with leaders and peers was discussed in detail. Effectiveness in communication, negotiation, and departmental advocacy were highlighted as important skills. As limited resources and increased regulations have become growing problems for universities and health systems, internal stress and competition have increased. In this rapidly changing environment, advice on how chairs can interact most productively with institutional leaders is becoming increasingly important.

Copyright information:

© The Author(s) 2018

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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