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Why Should You Invest in Leadership Training?

In 2019, Iris M. Otani, MD, FAAAAI, attended the AAAAI Leadership Institute Course, a half-day course held during the AAAAI Annual Meeting. In just a few hours, she learned real-life leadership strategies she could put into practice that very same day, and gained a better understanding of the structure and mission of the AAAAI.

Iris M. Otani, MD, FAAAAI
Participation in the course was only the first step in Dr. Otani’s leadership journey. “After being part of the Leadership Institute Course, I was eligible to participate in the mentorship program, which gave me the opportunity to connect with and directly learn from national thought leaders I otherwise would not have had the chance to meet.”

The Leadership Institute Course, an AAAAI member benefit, incorporates instruction in key leadership skills such as negotiation, conflict resolution and goal setting within a one-day course offered each year at the AAAAI Annual Meeting and supplemented by faculty-led online webinars throughout the year.
Looking back, Dr. Otani said she is grateful she took that first step to invest time in the Leadership Institute Course. “The Leadership Institute helped me develop skills in planning and execution. During the mentorship program, I was able to complete a work group report on secondary hypogammaglobulinemia evaluation and management.” That work group report, titled Practical guidance for the diagnosis and management of secondary hypogammaglobulinemia: A Work Group Report of the AAAAI Primary Immunodeficiency and Altered Immune Response Committees, was published in JACI earlier this year.
While pleased with these tangible results, “even more importantly, I received mentorship in how to build team relationships, reach group decisions and communicate team goals clearly,” she said.
Dr. Otani is now the Medical Director of Adult Allergy/Immunology at UCSF Medical Center. “The skills I developed during both the course and mentorship program have been essential to my success in this role. I’ve since joined several AAAAI committees and am excited to be leading an educational project with Sara Barmettler, MD, another participant of the leadership program!”