WECaN: Well-Established Career Neonatologists

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​Well-Established Career Neonatologists (WECaN)


This special interest group of the Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (SONPM) consists of neonatologists who are members of the AAP SONPM and who completed their fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine greater than 17 years ago and/or have attained an age of 50. 

In addition to the general objectives and mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics as set forth in its Constitution, and the objectives and mission of the SONPM as set forth in its bylaws and manual of operations, the mission and vision of this subgroup shall be: 

WECaN Mission Statement:

To support the mission of the SONPM through the creation of inclusive programs for senior neonatologists that will facilitate peer interaction and networking, foster ongoing personal and professional development and mentoring, promote personal and institutional resources designed for the senior neonatologist and enhance representation of senior neonatologists in SONPM committees and initiatives that improve perinatal health outcomes.

WeCaN Vision Statement:

To create a diverse and dynamic community of leaders by supporting career alternatives, leadership opportunities, mentorship development and increasing active participation in the SONPM among senior neonatologists.

WE-CaN Council

The WECaN Council consists of the Executive Committee and a member selected from each of the10 AAP Districts. Terms for District representatives are 3 years, limited to 2 terms. 

WECaN Executive Committee

Chair                             Stephen Pearlman, MD, MSHQS, FAAP
Secretary/Treasurer       Scott Duncan, MD, MHA, FAAP 

WECaN District Representatives
District 1           VACANT
District 2           Joanna Beachy, MD
District 3           Anne Ades, MD
District 4           Rita Ryan, MD
District 5           Kris Reber, MD
District 6           Dee-Ann Pillers, MD
District 7           VACANT
District 8           Sunny Juul, MD
District 9           Dharshi Sivakumar, MD, Mitchell Goldstein MD
District 10         Mark Hudak, MD 

SONPM members are welcome to participate in this interest group. WECaN neonatologists interested in leadership positions should contact one of the executive committee members. Annual meetings will be held at the Scottsdale Perinatal Workshop in the spring, and AAP National Conference and Exhibition in the fall. 

WECaN Current Initiatives/Areas of Interest

  • ListServ and Webpage content creation

  • Finances and insurance

  • Resiliency and burnout

  • Negotiating the terms of retirement – what kind of expertise do we need and how do we find them?

  • How do you create a retirement plan for your practice or group?

  • Opting out of night call and other transition issues

  • Aging/Impairment – should hospitals have guidelines or testing protocols for maintenance of skills

  • Cultivating your outside interests and reframing your identity in a positive way

  • Who are the role models? George Lister had a good talk about planning for the transition

  • How do our skills translate into other opportunities?  Using them in a different way.

  • Mentoring the next generation – staying relevant eg. Gil Martin teaching the medical students and running conferences for his department

  • Solidifying your legacy – different for each person. Keeping the positive changes within your practice running when you are retired. Plan for succession.

  • Volunteer opportunities

WECaN Articles of Interest

Well Established-Career Neonatologists (WECaN) inaugural meeting
Perinatal Practice Strategies, Scottsdale AZ 
April 2018

The inaugural meeting of WECaN was held in April 2018, during the AAP Perinatal Practice Strategies Meeting in Scottsdale.  Approximately 20 well experienced neonatologists attended. The meeting agenda included a welcome by WECaN organizer and Chair, Stephen Pearlman.  Discussion included a breakdown of the primary mission, specifically identifying issues related to aging, including those that may be unique to neonatology.  A general structure based upon identifying District Representatives was discussed.  This was followed by a joint session with Mid-CaN on "Burnout and Mental Resilience", led by Guatham Suresh, MD. The meeting concluded with the following Action Items:

  • Write articles for the section newsletter – First article published in most recent newsletter


Second WECaN Meeting November 2018

WECaN will have its second meeting at the National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando on November 3, 2018 from 12:30pm-1:30pm. The session will begin with a brief business meeting to discuss progress with our website and plans for future meetings. Following that, Colette Mull MD, FAAP, a pediatric emergency room specialist at DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, will give a presentation entitled, "Older and Wiser: Staying Competent, Relevant and Self Aware in Late Career." During this session she will discuss some of the cognitive, sensory, and neuromuscular changes that may impact the aging physician's clinical skills and enumerate individual and organizational adaptive strategies that may enable late career physicians to continue to practice safely and successfully. Participants will garner ideas on how they might transform or reinvent their careers as they enter this new phase. Please join us for this exciting session.

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