Penny R. Williamson, ScD is an internationally recognized facilitator, organizational consultant, educator and coach. She has an independent consulting practice, is a founding facilitator and mentor for the national Center for Courage and Renewal, and is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Williamson works with leaders in healthcare, education, law and religion facilitating personal/professional development retreats on finding meaning, courage and heart in one’s life and work; coaching leaders to enhance their effectiveness; and helping leadership groups, working teams and organizations to build sustainable capacities in collaborative learning and relationship centered practice. She also teaches clinical communication, teaching and leadership skills to physicians and other medical educators.
Dr. Williamson received her doctorate in Behavior and Ecology from the Johns Hopkins University . Following ten years of academic endeavors at Johns Hopkins and the University of Washington , she was a founding director and Executive Vice President of the American Academy on Physician and Patient, a national organization devoted to enhancing doctor-patient relationships through improved teaching of communication and relationship skills and the promotion of research. For 18 years Dr. Williamson has been a senior faculty member in The Johns Hopkins Faculty Development Program, a longitudinal program to enhance physicians’ teaching and leadership skills.
Since 1994, Dr. Williamson has expanded the scope of her work from patient-clinician and student-teacher interactions to include whole organizations. She recently completed a 2-year staff development initiative at the American Board of Internal Medicine to build sustainable capacities in relationship-centered work and collaborative learning and is currently involved in a three-year initiative at Indiana University School of Medicine to improve the teaching of professionalism by positively influencing the “hidden” curriculum (the organizational culture) of the entire medical school (i.e., the ways faculty, students, patients and staff relate to each other in informal encounters). Drawing on her work with the distinguished educator Parker Palmer, Dr. Williamson has created and leads a series of 18 month, 5- retreat programs for health care leaders called “The Courage to Lead.”