Trainee Talk: Young Leadership Council Emerging Leaders Forum 2024

Published May 28, 2024

Trainee Talk

Submitted by: Nadia Khalil, MD

Adult Neurology Resident, PGY4, University of South Florida

Young Leadership Council Member, AANEM

Our Young Leadership Council (YLC) is comprised of twelve residents and fellows and two medical students from programs across the country under the advisory of Dr. Zachary London. Our purpose is to represent the trainee voice within the AANEM and spearhead initiatives to bolster educational, mentorship, networking, and leadership opportunities. Our Council convened for the Emerging Leaders Forum at the AANEM Spring Meeting in Chicago to work towards these goals and to undergo AANEM sponsored career development and leadership training.

To start off the forum, our YLC Liaisons, Drs. Amber Vocelle and Michael Skolka, facilitated a robust discussion covering YLC goals and ongoing initiatives. Over the last year, our group has been working diligently to help optimize the Training Program Partnership library. This library holds an incredible variety of educational resources at no cost to the trainee after a training program enrolls for an annual fixed nominal fee. Thus far, we helped improve the platform design to facilitate ease of navigation. Currently, we are very excited to be building curricula from the existing material to further facilitate effective utilization of the resources provided. Our group has also successfully published articles in the AANEM’s biweekly SPARK newsletter covering topics such as Council updates, experiences in training, and interviews with our NM leaders and experts. This year, we enhanced the medical student voice by creating two new positions on the council for medical student members. We have also been working on optimizing annual meeting programming as it relates to trainees. Most recently, we launched Trainee Connect, an online platform for free discussion amongst trainees moderated by our YLC. 

As part of the career development series, we heard from our own Dr. Zachary London on academic promotion. He discussed means of promotion through clinical service, organizational service, teaching, and scholarship and encouraged trainees to utilize anticipated career benefit, effort, and joy to guide decision-making with new opportunities. 
We heard next from Millie Suk, JD, MPP, and Rachel Volbrecht, JD, on AANEM advocacy initiatives. Broadly, we learned the AANEM champions efforts to improve access to care, physician reimbursement, scope of practice definitions, standard of care definitions, and fraud detection and prevention. Efforts include lobbying, proposing legislation, authoring position statements, creating guidelines, and more. Interested members should strongly consider joining the State Liaison subcommittee to get involved.

To help prepare us for our immediate post-training careers, we heard from Drs. Adenike Adewuyi and Arjun Seth on contract negotiation. Their advice included clearly establishing your career desires and non-negotiables, presenting objective data to support your requests, and enlisting the help of a contract lawyer in the appropriate context. Next, we heard from Joe McGrath from GradFin on student loans.  He outlined the major differences and recent changes in income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness.

For our final session of the day, Dr. Vidhya Sundareshan led a discussion on the elements of effective mentoring relationships and distinguished these from sponsoring and coaching relationships. Before adjourning, YLC members broke out into small round table discussions with AANEM mentors to discuss topics of interest.

Overall, we had a highly productive and thoroughly enjoyable meeting. We concluded with delicious Italian food at Carlucci’s in the highest of spirits with renewed enthusiasm for our YLC goals in support of the AANEM mission.