Dr. Kathleen Neuzil and Dr. Donna L. Parker Are Two of 33 Women Included in Case Studies Featured in Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Physician Leaders
As Women’s History Month begins, two University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) faculty members are featured in a new book published by the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL): Lessons Learned: Stories from Women Physician Leaders. Donna L. Parker, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, and Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, and Director, Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, are two of 33 exceptional women physicians profiled.
The book focuses on talented women physician executives who lead the way in diversifying the health care system, according to AAPL, an organization that provides leadership education, management training, and career development for the physician workforce.
“It is quite an honor for two of our own faculty members to be included in a collection of more than two dozen women physician leaders described in this book,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean at UMSOM. “Of course, it is no surprise to us that Dr. Neuzil and Dr. Parker received such wonderful recognition. They are phenomenal and impactful leaders in their respective areas.”
The book is written and edited by UMSOM alumna Deborah M. Shlian, MD, MBA. The book, according to AAPL, includes “personal and compelling stories – including obstacles and challenges faced in balancing work, family, and personal life” of the women physician leaders.
Dr. Neuzil, who is also the Myron M. Levine, MD, DTPH, Professor in Vaccinology, is an internationally recognized research scientist and advocate in the field of vaccinology. Throughout her career, Dr. Neuzil has conducted clinical and epidemiologic studies on vaccine-preventable diseases, yielding high-profile publications that inform policy decisions and public health actions.
Her work has impacted dozens of low-resource countries with multiple vaccines, including influenza, rotavirus, human papillomavirus, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid conjugate vaccines, and most recently, COVID-19 vaccines. She leads an NIH T32 Training Grant in Vaccinology, with the goal of training the next generation of vaccine scientists.
Dr. Neuzil remains central to the domestic and global response to COVID-19. As a co-principal investigator of the NIH-funded Leadership Group for the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit network, Dr. Neuzil is part of the strategic team evaluating COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics in the U.S. and was part of the study team that designed the first COVID-19 clinical vaccine trial in the U.S. Dr. Neuzil is a member of the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.
“It is an honor for me to be included among this group of talented and inspiring women, including my colleague, Dr. Parker.” Dr. Neuzil said. “These women are role models for perseverance, dedication, and resilience – and I encourage everyone to read their stories.”
Dr. Parker, who received her MD degree from UMSOM, joined the school’s faculty in 1992. She has served in multiple roles, including Medical Director of the Internal Medicine Practice, Associate Program Director for Ambulatory Education in the Department of Medicine, Assistant Dean for Admissions, Associate Dean for Student and Faculty Development, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. In 2018, she was promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education.
She excels at championing ideas and creating solutions for the betterment of a variety of constituents, and ultimately, society. She is a motivated and successful mentor who finds value in the success of others. Dr. Parker is committed to individualizing and personalizing mentoring with integrity, professionalism, and compassion, and she serves as a steady advocate for those without a voice.
Dr. Parker has received several prominent awards during her career. She was the recipient of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2017 Careers in Medicine Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Advisor Award. Additionally, Dr. Parker’s commitment to helping others was recently recognized by the Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ). She was honored as part of the publication’s “Leaders in Health Care 2021” event. She told the BBJ that when she talks with medical students, she often tells them that patient care begins with self-care. She has seen positive changes over the years, she said, where students – men and women – speak of desiring careers that allow them to balance time with family.
In addition, Dr. Parker was featured in two previous books about women physicians. Her leadership is well known inside and outside of UMSOM. This Side of Doctoring: Reflections from Women in Medicine, published in 2002, includes Dr. Parker discussing, “balancing, juggling, and other feats.” She was also included in another book written by Shlian: Lessons Learned: Stories from Women in Medical Management, which was published in 2013.
“I am honored to have my journey included in a book filled with the wisdom and experience of so many accomplished women,” Dr. Parker said. “If we can serve as an inspiration for others to reach beyond their grasp, that would be a wonderful outcome.”
AAPL said the new book shows that medicine can be a rewarding career choice for women, offering both professional and personal fulfillment. The women described in the book “come from all walks of life, have faced and overcome challenges, and have demonstrated great creativity in their career choices,” said Peter Angood, MD, President and CEO of AAPL. “The book shows a collective pride in what women physician leaders have accomplished, validation of choosing a non-traditional career path, and fulfillment in having chosen medicine as a rewarding career that makes a difference."
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu