top of page

Annual Fall Conference

FOCUS Conf Flyer 10.4.23.png

Special thanks to the Perelman School of Medicine & Trustees’ Council of Penn Women whose generous support has made this conference possible


This year's theme is "Women's Health:
Investing in Our Science, Our Community, and Ourselves

Share a day of networking and professional development with Penn women colleagues and their allies from across Penn Medicine.  This once-a-year opportunity to convene with Penn women colleagues and their allies is a celebrated professional development conference for faculty and trainees in every rank, track, department, and division. This includes faculty, instruc
tors, lecturers, fellows and residents, MDs and PhDs; all are welcome and encouraged to attend. There is never an ideal time to step away from the clinic, lab, or office, but this is a unique chance to gather with a substantial group of Penn women peers and take some time for an excellent career development program with national experts.


8:30 - 9:00 AM
Welcome and Overview of FOCUS Initiatives

9:00 - 10:00 AM
Focusing on Your Future through the Lenses of Career and Health
The career landscape for women in medicine and science has always been fraught with rocky terrain for women,
and they still face many challenges. First, Dr. Clayton will focus on ways to navigate these times
and new types of capabilities that will be required for future leaders. Then she will briefly discuss key points
in women’s health that you can use personally and with your patients. Together, this binocular vision
on your career and health will provide full three-dimensional perspectivity and clarity.

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., FARVO
NIH Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health
Director, NIH Office of Res
earch on Women’s Health

10:00 - 10:10 AM
Coffee and light refreshments will be served

10:10 AM - 11:10 AM
Real Self-Care is an Inside Job
It's nearly impossible to go even a couple days without coming across the term "self-care." The word has come to describe any number of lifestyle choices or Instagram photo ops -- juice cleanses, essential oils, bamboo sheets. Board-certified psychiatrist, New York Times contributor and best-selling author of Real Self-Care, Dr. Pooja Lakshmin finds this cultural embrace of faux self-care incomplete at best, and manipulative at worst. In this talk for FOCUS, Pooja will speak candidly about her own experience having gone down the rabbit hole of extreme wellness, and about what she's learned as a psychiatrist specializing in women's mental health and as a multi-hyphenate professional woman who faces many of the same stressors as her patients. She'll go on to share her 4 part-framework for *real* self-care, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which includes specific psychological takeaways that can be enacted immediately so that FOCUS women physicians are no longer sacrificing their mental health for the sake of their careers and their family life. 
Pooja Lakshmin, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
George Washington University School of Medicine
Best-selling Author of Real Self-Care: Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included

Founder & CEO of GEMMA, the women's health digital platform
Assistant Professor, George Washin
gton University School of Medicine

11:10 AM - 11:40 AM
From Table to Able: Intentionality in Wellness, creating a wellness action plan
Jennifer Lewey, MD, MPH

Co-Director, Pregnancy and Heart Disease Program Director, Penn Women's Cardiovascular Health Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Nicole R. Washington, MD
Associate Program Director of the Pediatrics Residency Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Co-Director, The Leadership Accountability Team, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, The Unive
rsity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

11:40 AM - 11:50 AM
Joseph R. Teel, MD - Introduction to Preventative CareVice Chair of Clinical Operations, Department of Family Medicine and Community HealthAssociate Medical Director of Operations, Penn Medicine Primary CareAdvisory Dean, Perelman School of Medicine

11:50 AM - 12:45 PM
Lunch & FOCUS Awards Presentations

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM
Mammo-thon: mammogram scheduling
Primary care appoin
tment scheduling
Real Self-Care book signing with author, Pooja Lakshmin, M



Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the architect of the NIH policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable across the research spectrum. This policy is part of NIH’s initiative to enhance reproducibility through rigor and transparency. As co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers with the NIH Director, Dr. Clayton also leads NIH’s efforts to advance women in science careers. In 2021, Dr. Clayton was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Prior to joining the ORWH, Dr. Clayton was the Deputy Clinical Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) for seven years. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Clayton’s research interests include autoimmune ocular diseases and the role of sex and gender in health and disease. She is the author of more than 120 scientific publications, journal articles, and book chapters. Dr. Clayton, a native Washingtonian, received her undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Clayton completed fellowship training in cornea and external disease at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in uveitis and ocular immunology at NEI. Dr. Clayton has received numerous awards, including the Senior Achievement Award from the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008 and the European Uveitis Patient Interest Association Clinical Uveitis Research Award in 2010. She was selected as a 2010 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In 2015, she was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award and the Wenger Award for Excellence in Public Service. Dr. Clayton was granted the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health in 2016. She was also selected as an honoree for the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards and the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.

Dr. Pooja Lakshmin MD is a board-certified psychiatrist, author, keynote speaker, and New York Times contributor focused on women’s mental health and dismantling toxic wellness culture. She serves as a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine, and maintains an active private practice where she treats women struggling with burnout, perfectionism, and disillusionment, as well as clinical conditions like depression, anxiety and ADHD. Pooja is also the founder and CEO of Gemma, a digital platform focused on women's mental health and equity. Pooja's viral New York Times essays have given voice to mother's and caregivers who have felt abandoned by failed public policies (for example, "This is Betrayal, Not Burnout“). Her writing has also appeared in Harper’s Bazaar (“Naomi Osaka and the Cost of Saying No”) and Oprah Daily ("Hope is Not a Thing to Have, It's a Skill to Practice"), and she’s frequently in the media, for example, WHYY's The Pulse (“Managing the Challenges of Motherhood“), among other outlets. Pooja's new book, REAL SELF-CARE: Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble-Baths Not Included, a national bestseller, has been featured by Good Morning America, NPR’s Code Switch, The New York Times, Vox, The Guardian, and is being translated into 8 languages. In Real Self-Care, Pooja examines the problematic nature of for-profit “self-care” solutions that are largely marketed toward women and focuses on offering tangible psychological tools to manage difficult emotions, set boundaries, make choices aligned with their values, and develop mental health literacy. Pooja frequently speaks, advises and consults for organizations on mental health, well-being, and real self-care. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her partner Justin, their toddler son, and their two cats, and where she tries her darndest to practice all real self-care for herself. You can subscribe to her free newsletter, Therapy Takeaway.

Dr. Jennifer Lewey is a cardiologist, the Director of the Penn Women’s Cardiovascular Health Program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and the Co-Director of the Pregnancy and Heart Disease Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and her adult cardiology fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. She also has an MPH in clinical effectiveness from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research program focuses on two major areas broadly related to maternal cardiovascular health: improving outcomes and reducing racial disparities among pregnant and postpartum individuals with cardiac disease, as well as reducing the burden of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in individuals with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Lewey’s research spans health services and clinical research methodology, and she has experience in behavioral and pragmatic clinical trials and qualitative and mixed methods research.

Dr. Nicole R. Washington is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending physician in General Pediatrics, Section of Hospital Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She has been in practice and an Associate Program Director for the CHOP Pediatric Residency Program for the past 8 years. She is also Medical Director of the Physician Hospital Flow Program and General Pediatrics Resident Services. Most recently, she is leading a Chair’s Initiative focused on leadership accountability as part of her work to improve the retention and promotion of URiM faculty and staff. Her academic interests center around medical education, hospital administration, and minority recruitment and retention within academic medicine.

bottom of page