Becoming a Leader in Oncology With ASCO’s Leadership Development Program


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ASCO offers a portfolio of prestigious leadership training opportunities for those who are ready to take the next step in their careers. This includes the Leadership Development Program (LDP), a program that began in 2009 and was created to teach mid-career oncologists leadership skills and help them gain exposure to the role and mission of ASCO.

Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP

Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP

“By developing these programs and investing in oncology professionals at this time in their careers, ASCO is investing in the future,” said past LDP participant Alexandra Thomas, MD, FACP. “ASCO is clear that while this program supports future ASCO leaders, it is also an investment in oncology professionals who will go on to lead and advocate for improved cancer care in a wide variety of arenas including professional societies, academic organizations, and the public and private sectors.”

The program also places a strong emphasis on creating connections. During their year-long term, participants receive mentorship from ASCO leaders, with the end goal of facilitating the promotion of program graduates into leadership positions in ASCO.

Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO

Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO

“We typically would learn how to be a leader from those who are one step ahead of us in their careers, but leadership is actually a skill set that can be fostered and, if attention is paid and time devoted, that skill set can be used to affect change and foster the growth of others,” explained 2010–2011 LDP participant and current ASCO Board of Directors member Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO.

The class of 16 ASCO members is divided into 4 teams and assigned to research ASCO strategic issues. In addition to building meaningful relationships, participants practice the leadership skills learned throughout the program with their team as they work on a project that is presented to the ASCO Board of Directors.

Jeanny B. Aragon-Ching, MD, FACP

Jeanny B. Aragon-Ching, MD, FACP

“The leadership skills imparted in the many sessions, the collaborative spirit among our own group as well as the group at large, and exposure to ASCO’s leadership, structure, and activities have opened more opportunities and avenues for collaboration,” said 2017–2018 LDP participant Jeanny B. Aragon-Ching, MD, FACP.

“As an oncologist in academic medicine, I have had various opportunities for leadership in my institution come my way,” said 2017–2018 LDP participant Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP.

Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP

Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP

“As they started happening, however, I realized that I had no formal training in leadership. I had access to mentors who were wonderful leaders, and of course I’ve learned from them, but I felt I needed to hone my skills in a more organized way. The ASCO LDP provided an opportunity to do this in the setting that is most relevant to my career in oncology.”

Applications for the Leadership Development Program close on September 25, 2018, at 11:59 PM EST. If you have any questions about the programs or applications, contact professionaldevelopment@asco.org. ■

Originally published in ASCO Connection. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Create the Oncology Career You Want With ASCO’s Professional Development Portfolio.” ASCO Connection, September 2018. All rights reserved.


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