Women in Cancer

2012 October Newsletter



Book Recommendation

How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life

Crown Publishing 2009

By: By Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston, Geoffrey Lewis

How Remarkable Women Lead presents unique ideas about successful leadership. Based on 5 years of proprietary research, this book raises provocative issues such as whether feminine leadership traits (for women and men) are better suited for our fast-changing, hyper-competitive and increasingly complex world. Through personal stories, the book establishes the links between joy, happiness, and distinctive performance with the groundbreaking model of Centered Leadership.


Dr. Cheryl Ho, M.D., FRCP(C)

Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency

Dr. Janessa Laskin, M.D., FRCP(C)

Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency

Why are Dr. Ho and Dr. Laskin the Successful Mentors of the Month for October?

Dr. Cheryl Ho and Dr. Janessa Laskin are both truly amazing role models for many oncologists. Georgia Geller, a resident working with Dr. Ho and Dr. Laskin, has nominated them both for the month of October. Her experiences are outlined below:

"Dr. Ho and Dr. Laskin are extraordinary physicians and mentors. Whether mentoring young doctors, guiding and advocating for patients through diagnosis and treatment, or contributing to research in the field of oncology, their positive energy, humour, and commitment to excellence shines through. Their mutual friendship and camaraderie is a particular inspiration. As a young resident, Dr. Ho and Dr. Laskin motivate me to take an active role in my chosen field in the hopes that I can one day contribute as much to medicine and my community!"

Congratulations Dr. Cheryl Ho and Dr. Janessa Laskin on your success. We thank you both so much for being a part of our community and inspiring current and future clinicians.

Nominate a Mentor, Mention an Accomplishment for Next Month!

WinC provides a platform to increase visibility of amazing mentors on an international level. If you have someone in mind that has been an amazing mentor to you or people you know OR you have reached a new accomplishment, please email Robyn Leonard This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 26th.

Please stay tuned, as we will be posting information about our Leadership Conference Grant and a Flims Travel Grant! More information coming soon.

  • PMI Leadership Course – Negotiation and Conflict Management – October 28-30, 2012 – Toronto, Ontario
  • Best of Oncology 2012 Conference – November 30, 2012 – Toronto, ON, Westin Prince Hotel

The positive impact of a facilitated peer mentoring program on academic skills of women faculty

Published online 2012 March 23.
doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-12-14

Prathibha Varkey, Aminah Jatoi, Amy Williams, Anita Mayer, Marcia Ko, Julia Files, Janis Blair, and Sharonne Hayes



In academic medicine, women physicians lag behind their male counterparts in advancement and promotion to leadership positions. Lack of mentoring, among other factors, has been reported to contribute to this disparity. Peer mentoring has been reported as a successful alternative to the dyadic mentoring model for women interested in improving their academic productivity. We describe a facilitated peer mentoring program in our institution's department of medicine.


Nineteen women enrolled in the program were divided into 5 groups. Each group had an assigned facilitator. Members of the respective groups met together with their facilitators at regular intervals during the 12 months of the project. A pre- and post-program evaluation consisting of a 25-item self-assessment of academic skills, self-efficacy, and academic career satisfaction was administered to each participant.


At the end of 12 months, a total of 9 manuscripts were submitted to peer-reviewed journals, 6 of which are in press or have been published, and another 2 of which have been invited to be revised and resubmitted. At the end of the program, participants reported an increase in their satisfaction with academic achievement (mean score increase, 2.32 to 3.63; P = 0.0001), improvement in skills necessary to effectively search the medical literature (mean score increase, 3.32 to 4.05; P = 0.0009), an improvement in their ability to write a comprehensive review article (mean score increase, 2.89 to 3.63; P = 0.0017), and an improvement in their ability to critically evaluate the medical literature (mean score increased from 3.11 to 3.89; P = 0.0008).


This facilitated peer mentoring program demonstrated a positive impact on the academic skills and manuscript writing for junior women faculty. This 1-year program required minimal institutional resources, and suggests a need for further study of this and other mentoring programs for women faculty.

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