Dr. Pololi is Senior Scientist at Brandeis University and Director, The National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C – Change.
Linda Pololi is nationally recognized for her extensive research and innovative contributions to the professional development of faculty in academic medicine, including women and underrepresented minority groups. She developed – and is a leading proponent of – an evidence-based collaborative group approach to mentoring that is predictably reliable in facilitating career enhancement for medical faculty. Her recent multi-institutional research on the academic medical environment showed the importance of the “culture” to faculty vitality (the topic of her recent book), challenging academic leaders to be change agents.
Dr. Pololi received her medical degree and postgraduate training at the University of London, UK. She completed a hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago and became a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine and a VA-funded Associate Investigator in stem cell research. At Brown University, she focused her research on physician-patient communication and behavioral change in preventive medicine, led an interdisciplinary team in the development of a prototypic preventive medicine curriculum and founded Brown’s first standardized patient program. As Assistant Dean at East Carolina University, Dr Pololi continued her research in medical education, established a number of innovative major courses for students that emphasized humanistic approaches in medical education and founded the School’s Office of Faculty Development. She designed and implemented a series of highly successful interdisciplinary model faculty development programs to foster the professional and personal development of medical faculty. A hallmark of these programs was their foundation in relationship, self-awareness and mindfulness. At ECU, she was PI on multiple sub-grants for the RWJ Generalist Physician Initiative, as well as co-investigator on a Dept. of the Army grant on culturally-based interventions for breast cancer in rural African Americans.
Recognition of the effective innovations she brought to faculty development work led to her being funded by US DHHS, Office on Women’s Health as PI and Founding Center Director to establish one of four vanguard National Centers of Leadership in Academic Medicine. Through that Center, Dr. Pololi established innovative mentoring programs for medical faculty with the goals of career advancement of junior faculty and gender equity in academic medicine. She has served as consultant to medical schools and to the US Surgeon General’s Physician Professional Advisory Committee on developing mentoring and mentor training programs, as well as facilitating mentoring programs and faculty development programs on intercultural awareness and communication at a number of schools and for the PHS Office of Minority Health. She currently directs a faculty mentoring program for the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Pololi is a trained facilitator for American Academy on Communication in Healthcare and the Center for Courage and Renewal. Dr Pololi’s efforts to improve education for students, residents and faculty have emphasized humanizing the learning environment, learner-centered and relationship-based methods, professionalism and multiculturalism.
Prior to joining the Scholars Program in the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis, she was Professor of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. At Brandeis University, Dr. Pololi is currently Senior Scientist, and PI and Founding Director of a national action-research project: The National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine, known as C – Change (for culture change). Dedicated to improving the culture of academic medicine through research and action, C – Change aims to promote an inclusive, affirming relational working environment for all faculty and trainees, and to increase diversity of leadership in academic medicine. Dr Pololi is the recipient of the 2011 AAMC Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Development Award.