For the second year running, a Madigan Army Medical Center doctor earned the honor of being named the Military Health System Junior Army Female Physician Leadership Award.
Lt. Col. (Dr.) Cristin Mount, the chief of Madigan’s Department of Medicine, received the Department of Defense award Dec. 3 in San Antonio.
“To be selected, that was really exciting and humbling at the same time,” Mount said, who is the first female chief of her department. “If you get an award like that, you don’t get to pat yourself on the back and go off into the sunset.”
She said the expectation is that the awardee comes back to her hospital and continues to deliver great leadership.
“You look for ways that you can continue to positively influence the work environment even more than you did before,” Mount said.
The award recognized both her contribution to military medicine and her work as a mentor. As the chief of Madigan’s Department of Medicine, Mount does both — leading 320 civilian and military staff (including residents) who conduct 180,000 outpatient visits and see 3,800 inpatients annually.
“Lieutenant Colonel Mount has consistently demonstrated excellence as a leader across multiple domains throughout her career to include clinical leadership, administrative leadership, education, and research,” said Col. Jay Erickson, the deputy commander for medical services.
Mount formerly led Madigan’s critical care mission and pulmonary service, where she led the service to save $750,000 in network care costs, which made the service one of the highest performing services in its field in the Department of Defense.
According to Erickson, Mount is also well known for her medical research advances. Her research has been published in more than a dozen publications and highlighted in the same amount of national presentations in the past five years, making Mount “One of the most respected educators and mentors of resident physicians at Madigan,” Erickson said.
She is also known for her mentorship of residents, according to Lt. Col. Patricia Short, Madigan’s Internal Medicine Service residency program director and last year’s recipient of the Junior Army Female Physician Leadership Award.
“She has actually mentored more residency research projects than any other faculty in the department,” Short said.
Both Short and Mount talked about how the award recognizes the special need for more female mentors in their career fields.
Mount explained that while more women graduate from medical school right now than men, “Once you enter the workforce, what you find is a paucity of female mentorship all the way through the chains of command.”
With the Army traditionally comprised of more male than female Soldiers, she feels it is even more important for women to be able to identify mentors.
“I’ve had fantastic mentors, both women and men, but there is something to be said when you’re a resident or junior staff to have somebody in leadership that you can more closely identify with,” Mount said.
That mentorship, she said, starts with women in leadership recognizing themselves as mentors even if they are not formally put into that role, so they can help guide the female leaders behind them.