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Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, vice dean for education, wrote a commentary JAMA this week about the power and importance of mentorships as society continues to progress toward gender equality.

Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, vice dean for education and professor of pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine, wrote this commentary in JAMA about her experience rising through the ranks of academic medicine, the power of mentorships, and what men leaders can do to foster progress in the era of the #MeToo movement.

Here is an excerpt:

“Recently, I have reflected on what specific behaviors my mentors have demonstrated that have always made me feel safe. First, in my presence, they demonstrate exemplary professional behavior during and outside of the work day, never compromised by alcohol consumption or flirtatious interactions. Second, they always behave comfortably but as if others are watching, demonstrating integrity. Third, though they have warm personalities, they refrain from physical touch except in larger social settings where they may give hugs in greeting. They never mention anything about my appearance or the appearance of others, and they avoid generalizing comments about gender. They text me important or urgent things, and sometimes just very funny things, but never anything I wouldn’t share with my husband or their wives. I know I am “in the club” because of their warmth and friendship as well as the content of our conversations, but I do not perceive their “club” as a stereotypical “boys’ club” where I am not welcome.”

The entire piece is available online.