Senior-career Faculty Working Group


Steven Abman, MD (co-chair)

Kathleen Adelgais, MD, MPH (co-chair)

Nicholas Foreman, MD

Theresa Grover, MD

Kristen Nadeau, MD

Eva Nozik, MD

Julie Parsons, MD

Mission Statement

To assess the concerns and the needs of senior faculty in the Department of Pediatrics, and in response, develop a comprehensive series of presentations, group discussions and resources to best meet the diverse challenges and opportunities for senior faculty

To strengthen the role of senior faculty in the Department of Pediatrics as advisors and coaches and create a sounding board to support the needs and concerns of the mid-career and junior faculty and their working groups


There are limited opportunities for advice, coaching and support within most academic institutions that adequately address the unique and complex needs of senior faculty. The academic infrastructure within many Departments of Pediatrics, Universities, and Schools of Medicine generally sets its focus on supporting the career development and advancement of early-stage faculty during their transition from training to early positions in academic medicine. However, there has been minimal discussion and focus on the many issues facing senior faculty, particularly those that arise during the latter stages of their academic careers.  Although these issues have persisted in academic medicine over many years, increased longevity with better health and the desire to consider new opportunities during late career stages contribute to certain unique challenges that senior faculty must face. In addition, there are currently lost opportunities for senior faculty to share their skills and provide coaching and support to mid and junior faculty, and enhancing such relationships would be mutually beneficial to those at all career stages. The Department of Pediatrics Senior Faculty Working Group (SFWG) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine was formed to support senior faculty and create opportunities to explore and address these challenges.


The initial approach will be developed by members of the SWFG and may include:

1. Development of a needs assessment that includes questions for individuals identifying as senior faculty (including volunteers and emeritus faculty) that includes such questions as:

         What issues are you most concerned about at this stage in your career?

  • What issues do you anticipate will be of concern for you in the future?
  • What topics would you like to see covered during bi-annual symposia
  • What resources would you like to see developed to support senior faculty
    1. list of potential resources and include "other" with free-text
    2. What resources have you found useful to date?
    3. What institutions do you think do it well?
  • What would you like from the SFWG?

2. Development of a needs assessment that includes questions for individuals identifying as junior and mid-career faculty such as:

  1. What roadblocks do you see as inhibiting the success of your career that could be addressed by senior or emeritus faculty?
  2. What gaps do you see in the institution that could be addressed by senior or emeritus faculty?
  3. What kinds of relationships would be helpful to establish between the senior, mid-career and junior faculty working groups?

3. Hold a series of symposia with keynote speakers addressing issues related to senior faculty in academic medicine:

  1. Different pathways for winding down or expanding interests
  2. Professional identity, generativity, healthy aging, and retirement
  3. Provide an engaging forum for departmental members to interact, identify relevant mentors, and discuss key issues to gain perspective and insight into their own current and future choices.

4. To develop a “regular series” of discussion groups with cohorts formed from faculty to work with facilitators to discuss issues in greater details. The frequency and content will be established by the SFWG, which may include such topics as:

  1. "Aging and academic medicine"
  2. "Senior academic faculty – Establishing ways to remain active in the academic setting beyond retirement, staying relevant in the remaining years of your career"
  3. "Changing direction and finding new career paths as senior academic pediatricians"
  4. Methods to continue on as a coach for mid-level and junior faculty
  5. Joint meetings with mid-career and junior faculty working groups or their representatives

5. To develop resources: sources of referral information for faculty looking to the future