Betsy White Williams, PhD, MPH
Dr. Betsy White Williams is the clinical director at the Professional Renewal Center, an assessment and treatment/remediation facility in Lawrence, KS. Her early research and clinical work were in the area of neuropsychological changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. For the past fifteen years, her research and clinical foci have shifted to difficulties in high accountability professionals, in particular healthcare professionals. Her work with physicians across the educational continuum includes addressing concerns related to clinical competency, substance use disorders, burnout, professional boundaries, disruptive behavior and aging. Dr. Williams is course director and faculty for “The Distressed Physician”, a remedial continuing medical education activity, and the COPE program, a distance learning remedial activity.
Dr. Williams is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Kansas. She was a member of the Kansas Pain Management and Substance Abuse Statewide Educational Initiative Planning and Expert Committees that planned and delivered CME activities throughout the state of Kansas. She also lectured on the topic of burnout throughout the state of Kansas. She is the former Director of Outcomes and Research in the Office of Continuing Medical Education at Rush University Medical Center where she was an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center.
Dr. Williams is a member of the Society of Academic Continuing Medical Education for more than ten years. During this time she participated in the Program, Research and Strategic Affairs Committees, and served on the Board of Directors as Chair of the Research/Scholarship Committee – which she led twice (2010-2012) and (2015-present). From 2014-16 she was a member of the 2016 CME Congress Research and Publications Sub-committee.
Most recently, she assisted in the development of SACME’s new Fundamental of Medical Education Scholarship (FuMES) program and Community of Practice (COP) program. She has been a reviewer of scholarly works for JCEHP and the journals Evaluation & the Health Professions and BMJ Quality and Safety.
Dr. Williams recently published two chapters in SACME’s professional book Continuing Professional Development in Medicine and Healthcare: Better Education, Better Patient Outcomes (Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, 2018), Assessing and Remediating the Struggling Physician and Identifying Principles of Effective Educational Research. In 2013, she received SACME’s Fox Award for Best Research Presentation for her presentation Self Efficacy and Structural Barriers as Mediators of Practice Change. In 2017, she received the Dave Davis Research in CME Award at SACME’s Annual Meeting.
She was a Board Member of the Society for Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH) from 2009-2015. During that time period she was also on the editorial board of the Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. Through her involvement with SASH she was involved in the development of the Advanced Training in Problematic Sexual Behaviors (ATPSB) program, which is dedicated to addressing and treating harmful sexual behavior including the development of course content and as a faculty member.
Dr. Williams has published numerous scholarly works in the areas of the efficacy of continuing medical education, disruptive behavior, chemical dependency, sexual misconduct, aging, and clinical competence including Assessment of Fitness For Duty of Underperforming Physicians: The Importance of Using Appropriate Norms; Assessment of a Physician’s Workplace Behavior, Pursuing Professional Accountability: An Evidence Based Approach to Addressing Residents with Behavioral Problems, and Relationship among Practice Change, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy. In 2010, Dr. Williams received the Ray L Casterline Excellence in Writing Award for the article Disruptive Physicians: A Conceptual Approach.
She has presented her work scholarly work nationally and internationally including the annual meetings of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs and Federation of State Medical Boards, the 2015 and 2017 International Conference to Promote Resilience, Empathy and Well-Being in the Health Professions: An Interprofessional Forum, Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education Annual conferences, the Ottawa Conference and the international Association of Medical Educators of Europe (AMEE) Meeting. She is a member of the AMEE CPD Special Interest Group.
Dr. Williams completed her undergraduate education at Wellesley College, her Masters Degree in Public Health at Boston University, and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Southern California. She completed her postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of California, San Diego.
Some of Dr. Williams recent scholarly work included
- Williams, B. W., Flanders, P., Welindt, D., & Williams, M. V. (2018). Importance of neuropsychological screening in physicians referred for performance concerns. PloS one, 13(11).
- Williams, B. W., Flanders, P., Grace, E. S., Korinek, E., Welindt, D., & Williams, M. V. (2017). Assessment of fitness for duty of underperforming physicians: The importance of using appropriate norms. PloS one, 12(10).
- Williams, B. W., & Williams, M. V. (2019). Understanding and remediating lapses in professionalism: Lessons from the island of last resort. The Annals of thoracic surgery.
- Williams, B. W. (2019). Professionalism Lapses and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Reflections From the Island of Last Resort. Academic Medicine, 94(8), 1081-1083.
- Williams, B. W., Byrne, P. D., Welindt, D., & Williams, M. V. (2016). Miller’s pyramid and core competency assessment: A study in relationship construct validity. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 36(4), 295-299.
- Williams, B. W., & Flanders, P. (2016). Physician health and wellbeing provide challenges to patient safety and outcome quality across the careerspan. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(2), 144-147.
- Williams, B. W., Welindt, D., Hafferty, F. W., Stumps, A., Flanders, P., & Williams, M. V. (2020). Adverse Childhood Experiences in Trainees and Physicians With Professionalism Lapses: Implications for Medical Education and Remediation. Academic Medicine.