Portrait of Sherilyn Smith

Sherilyn Smith, MD, ACC

Faculty & Leadership Coach

I partner with leaders to connect deeply with their own values and strengths so they can empower others to move their organizations to the next level of excellence.

Sherilyn is Professor Emerita at the University of Washington, a retired academic pediatrician and an ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with over 30 years of experience in academic medicine in the U.S. Her deep knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of academic faculty informs her coaching focus and approach. Sherilyn’s areas of coaching expertise include developing leadership skills, optimizing scholarly productivity (including grant writing and manuscript preparation), program development, navigating the promotion process, transitioning to retirement, increasing satisfaction with clinical responsibilities, enhancing teaching abilities and developing long-term career goals.

Sherilyn’s coaching approach is person-centered and leverages appreciative inquiry, foundations of contemporary neuroscience and design thinking. She works with clients to identify their core values and individual strengths to co-create a safe space for productive experimentation toward achieving their goals. She is continuously exploring and leveraging concepts and techniques from a wide variety of leadership and coaching fields to meet her client’s needs.

Sherilyn has successfully coached mid- and late-career faculty transitioning into new leadership roles, participating in institutional strategic planning, negotiating workplace relationships, and planning the next phase of their careers. She is a passionate teacher and believes that coaching in healthcare is an underutilized leadership approach. To this end, she works with other coaches to develop and deliver faculty development sessions about coaching and its application in academic medicine at the national level.

Sherilyn trained as a pediatric infectious disease physician and provided care to families and children with complex medical problems at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Her career has included all aspects of academic medicine, including basic science and medical education research, providing clinical care in a tertiary care children’s hospital, educational program development and program administration for all levels of undergraduate and graduate medical trainees. She held multiple leadership positions at the University of Washington, including Co-director of Pediatric Undergraduate Medical Education, Head of Big Sky College (a learning community at UWSOM), Co-Chair of the Educational Quality Improvement and Strategic Planning Committee and Chair of the Curriculum Committee. Sherilyn also has served in national leadership positions in several medical education organizations in pediatrics and as the chief academic officer for an educational nonprofit, Aquifer Inc (www.aquifer.org).