Current FIT Program Participants
A. Renee Bergstrom, Ed.D.
Communication Consultant
Somali Health Care Advocates
Women United  
Lanesboro, Minnesota
​Guide: Denise Davis

Erum Jadoon-Khamash, MD
Senior Associate Consultant
Mayo Clinic
Scottsdale, Arizona
Guide: David Gullen
Denise Mohess, MD
Palliative Care Physician
Inova Fairfax Palliative Medicine
Alexandria, VA
Guide: Sheira Schlair
Robert Cohen, MD, MSc
Director of Education
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Assistant Professor 
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA
Guide: Bob Arnold

Kathleen Kieran, MD, MS, FAAP, FACS
University of Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle, WA
Guide: Stuart Sprague, PhD
Kanade Shinkai, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Nan Cochran
Nuala Crotty, MD
Senior Staff Physician
Spectrum Health System
Grand Rapids, MI
Guide: Jenni Levy

J. Keith Mansel, MD
Professor of Medicine Director, Palliative and Supportive Care University of Mississippi Medical Center
Guide: Mary Ann Gilligan
Amy Ship, MD
Internist and Assistant Professor
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts
Guide: Bronwyn Wilson
Sally Fortner, MD
Director of Professionalism 
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Guide: Adina Kalet
Michael Marcin, MD, MSCR
Medical Director, O.M.I Family Center, San Francisco Health.Network Behavioral Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Tim Gilligan, MD
Diane Sliwka, MD
Medical Director of Patient/Provider Experience
University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Peter Lichstein
Suely Grosseman, MSc, PhD
Drexel University College of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Guide: Dennis Novack, MD
Anna Meyer, MD
Associate Professor
Pediatric Otolaryngology
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Guide: Denise Davis
Darryl Woods, MD
Head of Diversity and Cultural Competency
Stroger Hospital of Cook County
Chicago, Illinois
Guide: Krista Hirschmann
Stephanie Harman, MD
Palliative Care
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, California
Guide: David Kern, MD
Lynnea Mills, MD
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Guide: Pam Duke

Core Competencies

The criteria only apply to those FITs who entered the program prior to Fall 2017.  Those who entered the program Fall 2017 or later are subject to competency in the 4 core domains and subsequent EPAs and microskills.

The Core Competencies of the FIT Program are divided into seven primary domains which are described below.  Appendix I.2 delineates the level of attainment required for each sub-domain for advancement to the next level in the FIT Program.

Clinical Interviewing Skills
  • Structure of the interview
  • Function of the interview
  • Process of the interview
Group Work
  • Recognizes stages of group development: orientation, dissatisfaction, resolution, production
  • Recognizes individual/group behavior: participation, influence, membership, norms, roles, etc.
  • Recognizes interpersonal issues: inclusion, control, intimacy
Small Group Facilitation
  • Implements session stages
  • Promotes progress toward goals: time management, transitions, focus
  • Facilitates participation
  • Deals with problematic participation
  • Creates a supportive learning environment: genuineness, unconditional positive regards, active listening
  • Promotes personal awareness
  • Enables individual responsibility for learning: starts where learner is, encourages self-identification of goals, encourages self-assessment, enables learners to view each other as resources
  • Tracks group process
  • Facilitates effective use of role-play
  • Facilitates effective simulator experiences
  • Facilitates inter-learner provision of effective feedback
  • Provides effective feedback
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Negotiates co-facilitation relationship
  • Recognizes and manages co-facilitation dilemmas: power and status, gender, similarities and differences in style, developmental concerns
  • Manages co-facilitation effectively in presence of participants
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Provides feedback effectively
Interprofessional Effectiveness
  • Demonstrates genuineness/congruity of feelings and actions
  • Demonstrates unconditional positive regard
  • Communicates accurate empathy
Self-directed Learning
  • Takes responsibility for learning
  • Elicits feedback effectively
  • Utilizes learning plan effectively
Personal Awareness
  • Recognizes personal feelings, attitudes, behaviors
  • Recognizes how these affect others
  • Is able to communicate these awarenesses to others
  • Elicits feedback effectively
Annual Reviews


As soon as you feel prepared to advance or graduate, notify the FIT co-directors and Lindsay Overall AACH Program Manager, of your intent to do so with your goal advancement date.  Once you have received confirmation from the FIT co-directors and Lindsay of your goal advancement date, you can begin compiling your materials.  

All materials should be sent directly to Lindsay at

In order to ensure the most honest and thoughtful recommendations, we ask that you waive your right to see your recommendation letters.  Therefore, please instruct your letter writers to send their recommendation letters directly to Lindsay.

ALL materials must be received by the agreed upon deadline in order to be reviewed and given a verdict by the FIT committee.  If any items are missing upon the deadline, the FIT will have to wait until the next committee call to be considered for advancement or graduation.

Required Materials Details
Cover letter State your intention to advance and list the letters of recommendation that you have requested.
Personal Reflective Statement This is typically 1-1.5 page essay that should explain in a narrative-style fashion where you feel you are in the process, and may include any realizations you have made about yourself, what you feel you need to work on, what areas you have experienced personal growth in, etc.
Letters of Recommendation In order to ensure the most honest and thoughtful recommendations, we ask that you waive your right to see your recommendation letters.  Therefore, please instruct your letter writers to send their recommendation letters directly to Lindsay.

For those who entered the program in Fall 2017 or later:
Each of your letters should address your progress in achieving competence in the 4 core domains and subsequent EPAs and microskills.

For those who entered the program prior to Fall 2017:
Each of your letters should address your progress in achieving the core competencies.

  • 2 letters of recommendation from AACH faculty
    These should be sent by faculty with whom you have worked in AACH courses or in other capacities. 

  • 2 letters of recommendation from learners
    These should be from learners with whom you have worked in a teaching capacity within the last year.  These may be students and learners from any level.

  • 1 letter from your Faculty Guide
    This letter should convey evidence of your growth and progress toward your learning objectives.

  • 1 letter from a colleague or supervisor
Updated Learning Plan Because your goals and objectives will inevitably change throughout the program, you will need to update your original learning plan accordingly.
Self-Assessment of Progress This accompanies your updated learning plan, explicitly addressing where you stand with respect to your learning goals and the reasoning for any changes in your goals.
Reading List This should list all of the relevant articles, books, publications, etc. that you have read since joining the FIT program.  A list of recommendations can be found on the "Forms, Documents & Policies" page.
Activity Log List and provide a brief description of related activities you've been involved in (both AACH and non-AACH trainings, workshops, etc.) since joining the FIT program and your role (i.e. leader, facilitator, participant).
Evaluations Provide evaluations from the AACH and non-AACH activities that you have led or facilitated. 
Guide/FIT Evaluation Form This form can be found on the "Forms, Documents & Policies" page.
Annual Check-In Process for FITs not Applying for Advancement

This only applies to those FITs who joined the program prior to Fall 2017.


  1. Learn about each FIT’s accomplishments in the past year and progress towards learning goals
  2. Review FIT-Guide relationship
  3. Identify any individual or systems barriers to progress in the upcoming year
  4. Receive feedback about the FIT program
  5. Identify ways in which the FIT program can best support each person, including specific learning opportunities at the upcoming courses


  • If an FIT is not applying for advancement during a given calendar year, they will be asked to submit:
  • Annual review process will be completed following the Winter Course each year, with the materials from the FITs due by the co-directors’ deadline
  • Within 6 weeks of receipt of materials, a conference call will be scheduled with the FIT, his/her guide, and a FIT co-director or committee member
  • The FIT co-director or committee member will report back to committee on each FIT’s progress
  • If any areas of concern are raised by the FIT, the guide, the committee member, or the committee as a whole, a follow-up phone call with one of the FIT co-directors may be scheduled.

Process for FITs currently on Leave of Absence (LOA):

The current LOA policy states that the FIT on leave should keep the FIT committee apprised of her activities and plans vis-à-vis the FIT program.  This policy now specifies that there should be yearly contact from the FIT on LOA with the FIT committee.  The annual check-in process for FITs on LOA will be as follows:

  • FITs on LOA will be expected to submit a letter to the FIT committee at least annually (due on September 15) describing their activities during the past year (or since the last update) and their future plans regarding the FIT program (such as when they hope to end their leave or if they still will remain on leave for the foreseeable future).
  • Within 1 month of receipt of this letter, an FIT co-director will schedule a call with the FIT on leave in order to foster an ongoing connection between the FIT program and the FIT, even while on LOA.
FIT Participation at Winter Course

The Winter Course, typically held in February at a retreat-like venue, is designed for current faculty, FITs, and RCFs to deepen their skills and knowledge of relationship-centered care. It also serves as an opportunity for personal and professional renewal.  The course activities include learning (Personal Awareness/PA) groups, standalone workshops, FIT skills sessions, and large group exercises led by seasoned facilitators. Each FIT will be paired with either their own guide or a surrogate guide (if one's own guide is not attending the Course), who will check-in regularly and ensure the FIT's goals are being met.

1. Learning Groups - Each FIT/guide pair will have the opportunity to indicate their preference for a learning group modality prior to arriving at the Course.  These learning groups, modalities of which often include Rogerian, Matrix, Family of Origin, and Diversity, are facilitated by outside facilitators allowing FITs and faculty time and space to work on their individual learning goals for the course.

2. Workshops - Several workshops on various topics are offered at Winter Course.  Each FIT will have the opportunity to select which workshop he or she would like to attend.  These selections are usually made on-site at the Course.  FITs of all levels are encouraged to participate in workshop planning leading up to the Winter Course if they so desire.  Solicitation of interest in workshop planning for Winter Course usually occurs in the fall prior to the Course.  In some situations, a workshop being developed for ENRICH will be presented in an early form at Winter Course to allow for additional tweaking of content and presentation.

3. FIT Skills Course - Started in 2014, the FIT Skills Course is an added component of Winter Course aimed to provide FITs with a standard set of skills in relationship-centered communication and facilitation.

FIT Co-Directors & Committee

The purpose of this committee is to supervise the quality of the Faculty-in-Training Program relative to policy, admissions, advancements, graduation, and guides. The committee convenes monthly and consists of the 2 FIT co-directors, 4-5 faculty and usually 2-3 FITs (our goal is to keep the FIT representation on the committee proportional to the number of FITS in the program at any given time).  

The FIT representatives are selected from among interested FITs by their fellow FITs when an opening becomes available. The FIT representatives generally serve 1 to 2-year terms. Their role is to advocate for FIT needs on the FIT Committee, to assist with administrative projects, and to coordinate FIT-FIT Committee communications. While the committee acknowledges the importance of input from the FIT representatives, the FIT representatives do not vote on advancement or graduation decisions. FIT input in developing training needs assessment, policies, materials and procedures is welcome. This is a wonderful venue for becoming more active in Academy work, having some input into the FIT experience, and learning about effective leadership.

The FIT Co-Directors are faculty of the AACH selected by the Education Committee to provide leadership to the FIT Program.  In their role, they provide supervisory mentorship and guidance to the FITs in the form of individual meetings with each FIT at both the Winter Course and ENRICH and additional email or phone communication as needed. They also co-chair the FIT Committee.  They serve in overlapping three-year terms.

Julie Crosson, MD, Boston Medical Center, Dorchester House
Carol Chou, MD, University of Pennsylvania

Committee Members:
Renee Bergstrom, EdD (FIT rep)
Steven Borowsky, MD, MPH, Park Nicollet Clinic

Pamela Duke, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine
Erum Jadoon, MD, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale (FIT rep)
Lynnea Mills, MD, UCSF (FIT rep)
Marla Rowe Gorosh, MD, Henry Ford Health System

FIT Participation at ENRICH
Before the course:
  • FITs are required to participate in the planning and execution of workshops for ENRICH, with the FIT’s specific roles and responsibilities determined by the FIT’s own learning goals and directed by the faculty leaders for the workshop.  A call for workshop teams is sent out to all FITs, who can select which track they'd like to assist with.  They are then responsible for attending the team's planning calls and contributing to the workshop's development.
  • FITs should review the Co-facilitation Guidelines to help prepare for co-facilitating a learning group.
  • Once FITs have been paired up with a faculty co-facilitator (who may or may not be their Guide), they should complete the Co-facilitation Inventory form and review it together.
At the course:
  • Co-facilitate a learning group with their assigned AACH faculty member.
  • Attend the pre-course, post-course debrief, and daily faculty meetings.
  • Participate in the daily learning group debriefings with their assigned AACH faculty member
  • Participate in the delivery of their selected workshop track.
After the course:
Support of Fellow FITs
Your time in the Faculty-in-Training Program should be one of significant learning and skill development, as well as one of exciting personal growth. It has the potential to become one of the most valuable educational experiences you undertake. 

Upon acceptance into the program, you will be added to the FIT list serv, which is the primary form of communication among FITs and the co-directors outside of in-person events.  This provides you with a way to pose questions and share information with your fellow FITs.

FITs also meet formally during the Winter Course and ENRICH.  You will find that other FITs are sources for your learning, by virtue of expertise they bring, as well as feedback they may provide you about your learning goals.

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