Bess Marshall, MD, Steps Down from OFD

Bess Adkins Marshall

After 12 years, Bess Marshall, MD, Professor of Pediatrics in Endocrinology and Diabetes, will be stepping down from her position as co-director for the Pediatric Office of Faculty Development.

Marshall first came to WashU in 1990 to complete her fellowship in endocrinology after obtaining her medical degree from Vanderbilt and completing her residency at UT Southwestern. Throughout her career as a faculty member, she’s served in a variety of roles both in clinical practice and research. Notably, along with the work of colleagues Tammy Hershey, PhD, Colin Nichols, PhD, and Mike Mueckler, PhD,she serves as medical director of the Washington University Wolfram Syndrome Clinic, a multidisciplinary natural history study.

In addition to her clinics where she has a special interest in neonatal diabetes, and inpatient weeks at St. Louis Children’s hospital on the endocrine service, she has found that her experience with the OFD has been transformative and rewarding. After the departure of Angela Sharkey, MD, in 2010, four years after the creation of the OFD, Marshall joined Brian Hackett, MD, PhD, in expanding the initial reason why the office was created in the first place — to help reduce the disparity between the careers of female physicians when compared to their male counterparts within academic medicine. At the time of her arrival in 2010, there were no female department chairs and less than a handful of female physicians were full professors. Sharkey and others had successfully pushed to have childcare and back up care available to all university employees. 

Hackett and Marshall subsequently created various programs and seminars — notably the Leadership Development Program, the New Faculty Orientation and CV/CEP/Promotion workshops — which helped reduce the disparity between the sexes seen within the pediatric faculty. The initiatives had soon broadened to include the professional development of all the pediatric faculty. 

With the addition of Katherine Rivera-Spoljaric, MD, and Philip Abraham, MD, in 2018, the office is currently what it is today. She has reviewed countless CVs for faculty up for promotion and has been instrumental in getting initiatives up and running, specifically in both wellness initiatives and the educational skills program. Marshall attributes the success of the OFD to several allies within the university, notably the Office of Faculty Affairs and the OFDs that have since been created in other departments, and her personal success to her colleagues within her division.

Her hope for the OFD is that it continues to foster both the development of diverse faculty and a welcoming workplace environment to all. Her experience and passion for what the office stands for will be sorely missed, but fortunately, she will remain as an ad hoc consultant to the OFD as she continues to work at Wash U.

Thank you, Marshall!

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