Empower Female Physicians at Your Medical Practice
It’s 2018, but some patients are still surprised to learn a female physician will be attending to them. Meanwhile, medical schools have seen a 50% increase in female applicants in the past 15 years. In 2017, more women entered U.S. medical schools than men, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
However, there are still fewer female physicians among the upper echelons of academia, as leads on research teams and in medical departments. Unfortunately, even fewer women are represented in medical specialty societies.
There are still barriers to career advancement for female physicians. There are gender assumptions and biases about physicians that starts when we’re children, that run rampant in academia, and continue into adulthood. Those same ideas of women being overly emotional or not fully dedicated to their careers have not gone away.
With stereotypes continuing to prevail, how can all doctors best support their female colleagues in their careers? Here are just some ways male and female physicians can empower their female colleagues.
Denial is Detrimental
It’s important to acknowledge that there are obstacles for women in the workplace. The reality is that there are barriers for females in terms of leadership roles and greater career opportunities. The AMA unanimously passed a gender equality resolution to analyze and address gender-based compensation disparities and impediments to career advancement.
Change the Way You Communicate at Work
It’s important to foster a work culture that promotes equality though workplace communication. Everything from the manner in which you brush aside ideas to “mansplaining” can be damaging to your workplace culture and to the career growth of your female colleagues. The worst instances occur in front of patients, which isn’t good for your practice.
Improving your communications goes beyond your words. You must also consider your facial expressions and body language. You must foster authentic respect for the thoughts and ideas of others in your medical practice.
Mentor a Female Physician
Both male and female physicians can affect change just by mentoring a female physician. It’s important to mentor beyond medical school. Female mentors can provide their paramores with a unique prospective, especially when it comes to managing both motherhood and a career. Mentoring doesn’t have to be a part of a structured program your practice puts together. That can put additional pressure on physicians who have very little time. Instead, you can dedicate even just 15 minutes or a quick coffee chat.
It’s important to support and empower female physicians at your medical practice. What things are you doing to support the career growth of your female colleagues?