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Barbara Fivush, M.D.

 Barbara Fivush Barbara Fivush - At Johns Hopkins since 1978

Senior Associate Dean of Women
Director of the Office of Science and Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics

Why did you decide to join Johns Hopkins Medicine?

I began my journey at the school of medicine as a pediatric resident and then followed this by becoming a fellow in pediatric nephrology. I was amazed by the excellent clinical care provided here and wanted to continue to work within the Hopkins system. I became first an attending in pediatric nephrology and then the division chief for 22 years. Over the years, I have seen so many positive clinical advancements in the care of children with chronic kidney disease. I loved the teamwork and exceptional medicine provided here and wanted to remain a part of the Hopkins family.

Why have you decided to stay at Johns Hopkins Medicine?

In 2002, I became exposed to the Women’s Leadership Council, a group of senior women who strongly supported gender equity. As I became more involved with this group, I was given the amazing opportunity to first create an Office of Women in Science and Medicine, and then to become a senior associate dean of women. In these roles, my last 10 years have been devoted to promoting women: an incredible journey and certainly one worth staying for. I feel privileged to be part of an administration that supports the academic success of their women faculty.

Women need to continue to take leadership training, which will supply them with the tools to self-promote and to negotiate better.

Please tell us about how you reached your leadership position.

In 2002, following my promotion to professor, I became involved with the women’s leadership council. As I was made more aware of the issues facing women faculty, I wanted to be part of a solution to improve gender equity. I developed a plan for the creation of an Office of Women in Science and Medicine, which would actively engage with the dean’s office to promote initiatives for the advancement of women. I applied for and was chosen as the inaugural director of this office. Subsequently, I advanced to become first the dean of women and most recently the senior associate dean of women in 2017.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of at Johns Hopkins Medicine?

I am very proud of both of my accomplishments here. In my earlier career, I was selected to be division chief of pediatric nephrology and remained in this position for 22 years. Under my leadership, our division grew, and a fellowship program was developed. I received a lifetime achievement award in pediatric nephrology from the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am also proud to have been involved with the creation of the Office of Women in Science and Medicine and to serve as a senior associate dean of women. These roles have allowed me to strongly advocate for women faculty and improve the overall climate for women that exists today.

What advice would you give a woman who is aspiring to grow in her leadership responsibilities?

I believe there are many opportunities and pathways for women to achieve leadership roles at the school of medicine. Women need to continue to take leadership training, which will supply them with the tools to self-promote and to negotiate better. As the climate for women continues to improve, women who are empowered and feel the desire can be very successful to reach the highest levels of leadership at Johns Hopkins.

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