MCMSPhysicianSpring2017 - 26

mon t m e d s o c .c om

PAMED Establishes First Women
Physicians Caucus to Address
Needs of Female Physicians


ore than 50 percent of
the U.S. population is
female, and nearly 50
percent of medical students are
now female. Thirty-four percent of
Pennsylvania physicians are also
female. According to recent statistics
published by the American Medical
Women's Association, 70 percent
of women physicians say they've
experienced gender bias at work.
The unique issues faced by women in the field of medicine
in terms of discrimination, sexual harassment, balancing family
and work responsibilities, child-bearing, breast-feeding, and
other health issues need open discussion in the larger medical
In early February, the Pennsylvania Medical Society's
(PAMED's) Board of Trustees approved the creation of the
first women's caucus in PAMED's history. In the coming
months, we will be working to offer our women physician
members a forum to:
* Learn about effective networking

* Voice concerns and share common experiences

* Educate and encourage paths to leadership roles in
organized and academic medicine
* Establish a network of women physician leaders

* Advocate to advance PAMED policy on issues affecting
women as well as advise the PAMED Board on such
The Women Physicians Caucus (WPC) is not designed
to be "separate but equal," but rather to facilitate women
sitting at the table in equal representation with their male
The WPC is open to all women in medicine, including
medical students who are PAMED members. The agenda
and action items will be set by the caucus. Action items will
become part of the agenda for the Board of Trustees and the
House of Delegates, helping to shape PAMED policy and

Some issues of concern for women physicians include:

* Choice of specialties based on interest and ability, not
on the willingness of others in the field to accept that our
priorities may be different
* Encouraging mentors and mentoring

* Leadership training to advance in academics and medical

* Opportunities for training in public speaking and asserting
oneself in group situations
* Advocacy for health policy and public health affecting
women in their reproductive years

Most communication will be via blog, electronic, and social
media, with face-to-face meetings when possible through the
county medical societies and at PAMED's House of Delegates
and Annual Education Conference.
While sharing ideas and coping strategies as a woman in
medicine are part of the mission of the WPC, our overarching
goal is to share equal power and influence in the "hall" of
medicine, acknowledging that our perspectives, practice styles,
biology, and priorities may differ from those of our male
colleagues, but are as important and valuable.
PAMED invites all women physicians and medical students
who are PAMED members to join the WPC.
As a woman and an OB/GYN who has served women and
their families my entire career, I hope to welcome many women
physicians to this group. It is something I'm truly passionate
If you have any questions, please contact Robin Rothermel,
Senior Director of Physician Support, at KnowledgeCenter@
You must be a PAMED member to participate. If you're not
yet a PAMED member, you can join at
or by calling our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855726-3348).
Reprinted with permission from the Pennsylvania Medical
Society. Don't face the challenges of practicing medicine alone.
Learn more about PAMED and Montgomery County Medical
Society membership at or by calling

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