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Not Just Companies, Academic Medicine Finding Challenges, Too!

Last Call!!! Tuck Business School/Aquent/Work+Life Fit Survey: Please take a minute to complete one or both of the following brief surveys studying new career paths from both the individual and corporate perspectives—Deadline, Thursday, April 19th (to learn more please click here )

Corporate Hiring Manager Survey Link
Individual Survey Link

Incentive Magazine Q&A – Check out my interview with Editor-in-Chief, Joe Kornik. We spoke while I was driving (talking on my hands free headset) to meet my mother at a doctor’s appointment and his wife was getting ready to have a baby any minute. A perfect work+life fit scenario!

Now back to the blog….

While I know the question, “How do we work and have a personal life in a 24/7, high tech, global work reality?” affects everyone, I can still be surprised by the scope and reach of the issue. My most recent surprise was this email from a professor in academic medicine from a major teaching institution:

“This is the first time I’ve contacted/emailed someone after reading his/her book. I just returned from a trip and read your book on my flights. The content of your book resonated strongly with many thoughts and conversations I’ve had with colleagues and friends over the years. The issue of work-life fit has been slow to emerge in the culture of academic medicine (and still is not on the radar of many deans and others in administration).Although my formal training and clinical work is in neuropathology, I spend much of my time with medical students and residents and I see this issue as a key one for the future of academic medicine. Fewer numbers of trainees (male and female) are choosing careers in academic medicine and one of the major reasons is the perceived (real) lack of a good fit for their lives. In the big picture, we in medicine need to be able to recruit and retain the best and brightest minds for careers in academic medicine. I believe that this needs to be studied and addressed in academic medicine.”

So it’s not just companies. Every organization is facing the same challenges as they try to attract and retain the best men and women (not just women) to work in jobs and in fields that increasingly require a sacrifice in terms of time and energy that many are deciding is too much.

With the help of Kathie Lingle from the Alliance of Work Life Progress, Barbara Ashby at UC Davis and Judi Casey from the Sloan Work and Family Network, we were able to connect this professor to experts and research on the subject of flexibility in medicine and in academia, as well as to a national organization of colleges and universities called the College and University Work and Family Association. And, in the process, it expanded the network of like-minded individuals from all different perspectives trying to create the new rules for managing work and life in today’s reality.

This is a conversation that reaches beyond corporate America, beyond gender, beyond one particular segment of the population. But even I get surprised by its reach. Do you have any other examples that would surprise me? Let me know. I’d love to share them. (Note: When you leave a comment, please know that I do get it even though you may receive a response from my spam filter that says your message has been identified as spam. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to turn the message off without disabling the filter itself—so keep commenting!)