Marshall School of Medicine kicks off Women in Medicine and Science Mentoring Circle with leadership forum

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine brought together women from various health care backgrounds for its inaugural Women in Medicine and Science Mentoring Forum June 26 at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

More than 50 female students, residents, faculty, nurses and other health professionals from Marshall University schools of medicine and pharmacy participated in the four-hour forum focused on transformational change and leadership. The event also marked the official start of the Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) Mentoring Circle, a longitudinal mentoring program mechanism that connects women mentors and mentees at various stages of their careers.

"Career success depends largely on skills not covered in training,” said Darshana T. Shah, Ph.D., associate dean for faculty advancement at Marshall’s School of Medicine. “At Marshall, we value the experiences of others and want to use the connections made at forums such as this to embolden women who can then bring those experience and lessons to their everyday personal and professional lives.”

The mentoring forum featured Shlomit Schaal, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at University of Massachusetts Medical School, a national voice of encouragement for women in academic medicine. Schaal presented ideas on the balance of work and life, along with her “ABCs of Leadership”—vision, believe, change. Huntington attorney Tamela J. White, B.S.N., M.P.H., J.D., a member of Farrell White & Legg, PLLC, also shared effective tools for conflict intervention and conflict management.

“The WIMS forum was incredibly empowering and uplifting,” said Lexie Blalock, WIMS executive council member and Ph.D. student in biomedical sciences. “It was encouraging to hear that many women, regardless of their success or academic position, often encounter the same challenges. The guest speakers provided excellent advice to overcome personal and profession obstacles and tools to become effective communicators and leaders."
Marshall’s Women in Medicine and Science program is led by an executive council of female faculty, staff and students from across the school of medicine.

“The presenters gave great insight and showed excellent examples of leadership. Every woman has the opportunity to flourish into a great leader and building a community of women in medicine and science will help foster that development,” said medical student Allison Thompson, who is also a WIMS executive council member.

For more information about the mentoring circle, please contact the School of Medicine’s Office for Faculty Advancement at 304-691-8638 or

Date Posted: Monday, July 1, 2019