Senior Leadership Development Program

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Why SLDP?  :   Topics  :   Capstone  :   Eligibility  :  Timeline  :   Fees  :   How to Apply

Applications for the 2024-25 cycle
are being accepted until May 20.

Submit Your Application



An Important New Tool for COM Leadership

Senior Leadership Development Program cohorts at a session.Professional development is critical to the future of osteopathic medical education. Identifying and developing strong leaders who can also serve as role models for the osteopathic community is a key part of our strategic plan at AACOM.

That’s why AACOM began offering the Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP) in 2017, in partnership with the Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL).  

The SLDP provides a unique opportunity for one-on-ne and group engagement with experienced COM deans who serve as mentors. Small and highly interactive, the SLDP also fosters learning and networking with colleagues from institutions across the country.

Based on feedback from previous cohorts as well as COM deans, chairs, associate deans and directors, the SLDP offers a mix of in-person, virtual and on-demand learning. In addition to the core curriculum, leaders will be able to choose an elective track.

The program concludes with a capstone project that requires teams to research a critical issue facing COMs. The project outcome is a presentation at a national conference or manuscript and publication, including peer review, from which the entire osteopathic medical education (OME) community can benefit.

Upon completion of SLDP, graduates will be well-positioned to meet the myriad of today’s OME challenges.

View all SLDP Cohorts and Mentors

“SLDP program helped me identify opportunities in my leadership skills and helped me grow tremendously in such a short time period. I also walked away with a great cohort of leaders from osteopathic medical education who are now my friends.”  

Kapil Bajaj, NYITCOM

SLDP GME breakout group Aug 2023

What Topics are Covered?

The 2024-2025 curriculum covers many aspects of leadership. Download the curriculum.

Core Leadership Topics

  • Leadership Self Assessments
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback
  • Project Planning
  • Career Development Plan
The Leader and Organizational Dynamics
  • High Performance Teams and Committees
  • Strategic Planning
  • Academic Leadership
Leadership in Osteopathic Medical Education
  • Decision Making
  • Legal Issues
  • Preparing for COCA
  • Faculty Challenges
Cultural Competencies in Leadership
  • Enhancing Leadership Capacity through Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Complexities, Challenges, and Critical Conversations of DEIB
  • Unpacking the Essence of Belonging: Climate Matters
  • Forging a Path to Inclusiveness in Medical Education Scholarship
Gender in Leadership
  • Gender Equality in the Workplace
  • Utilizing Critical Conversations to Cultivate Impactful Collaboration
  • Resilient and Adaptive Leadership
  • Power Dynamics and Assertiveness
  • Networking as a Strategy for Navigating a Path Forward

New Elective Tracks

(Each applicant to select one)
Learning and Curriculum
  • Optimizing Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning
  • Helping Your Faculty Work Productively with Struggling Students
  • Assessing Your Program's Student Evaluation System
  • Building Faculty Capacity for Educational Research
  • Having the Talk: Difficult Teaching and Learning Conversations
GME: Program Development & Direction
  • Program Oversight
  • Managing Key Relationships
  • Recruiting and Developing Faculty and Residents
  • Financing GME

What is the Capstone?

AACOM's SLDP is designed, not only to benefit the fellow and his or her institution, but also all osteopathic medical education. Shortly after the program begins, each group will identify a Capstone Project that, when implemented, will have a significant impact for faculty, students, a college of osteopathic medicine or the way osteopathic medicine is taught and assessed.

The Capstone Project will be presented at the conclusion of the program, which coincides with Educating Leaders, the AACOM Annual Conference.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

The program is designed for current and future osteopathic leaders, including both new and experienced deans, associate deans, department chairs, program directors, directors of osteopathic education, designated institutional officials, and other administrators who seek to further the leadership duties and who are committed to participating in all phases of the program (in-person, virtual, on-demand and capstone presentation).

Who should apply to the SLDP program graphic
“This program allowed me to improve on my current leadership skills, meet colleagues that had [the] same goals and objectives in wanting to improve and enhance medical education. The advisors/mentors were excellent in helping with my growth as a leader. This program was so worth it.”     

John T. Pham, DO, dean and chief academic officer, UIWSOM

Applicants should have demonstrated the following:

  • Outstanding success in past or current positions
  • A clear track record of increasing administrative responsibilities
  • Experience with responsibilities such as chairing committees, advising student groups or mentoring faculty and students
  • Participation in local, regional or national professional development workshops
  • A record of scholarly contributions through teaching or research

General Timeframe

The SLDP will take place over a one-year period with a mix of in-person, virtual and on-demand learning sessions. SLDP will include 4.5 days of onsite learning, 6 hours of virtual training, 1.5 hours of on-demand viewing, and additional time determined by peer groups to meet online. 

SLDP Flowchart 2023-24

Fees & Institutional Commitment

AACOM is committed to supporting the SLDP through its staff and continuous improvement of the program. For the 2023-2024 session, tuition is as follows: 

  • $9,500 for individuals from a member COM or COM affiliated institution. If more than one individual per COM is accepted to the program, a 20% tuition discount will be granted to each participant from the same COM.

  • Tuition covers speakers, moderators, resource materials and other ancillary meeting costs. AACOM will invoice COM or the COM affiliated institution for the tuition.

  • Travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of individual and their COM or COM affiliation institution.

It is expected that the individual’s institution agrees to pay his or her full salary and benefits during the time the fellow participates in the SLDP. 

How to Apply

Applications for the 2024-25 cycle are being accepted until May 20.   Submit Your Application

If you meet eligibility requirements, are able to commit to the program's time and travel requirements and your COM understands the financial commitments of the program, you will be asked for the following when you complete the online application:   

  • Letter of support (download example)
  • Current CV
  • List of leadership positions and dates served (max 5 positions)
  • A statement of your strengths and weaknesses (max 500 words)
  • A description of two things you are most looking forward to learning from the SLDP
  • The completed application

Thinking of asking your Dean for support to apply? Download a sample justification letter.


“As the newly appointed Associate Dean, Preclinical Sciences, I have acquired invaluable knowledge that will empower me to elevate our curriculum beyond all expectations. The importance of leadership tools provided has been instrumental in shaping my approach and ensuring a successful trajectory for our academic programs.”     

Dr. Amanda Parker, Associate Dean, Preclinical Sciences, William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
This opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who are all focused on advancing osteopathic medicine and education is refreshing and very worthwhile!”     

Anonymous SLDP participant
“Amazing program! The structure of a small team that works together with a mentor throughout the program was a unique approach that I had not experienced with other leadership programs. This allowed simultaneously development and networking. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a comprehensive leadership development experience.“       

Matthew K. Henry, PhD, Des Moines University Assistant Dean for Preclinical Education & Department Chair