Monday, November 9, 2009

A Group Becomes a Group

I serve lots of professional roles in my job. I see patients, try to run a lab, and edit a magazine. In another role, I design and implement development programs for our faculty to improve their skills in AAMCteaching, administration, and writing. As part of this role, I attend the meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Today I attended an amazing gathering. In 1976 the AAMC gathered its first participants to discuss women in medicine. Over the past 30+ years women have gradually become half of all medical students. We are finally making some inroads into senior leadership positions as well. In all this time, Women in Medicine and their representatives, the Women’s Liaison Officers, have remained a lesser organization within the AAMC.

This year, we officially became a “group,” a formally recognized part of the AAMC. Moving from WIM to GWIMS (Group on Women In Medicine and Science) is a big step, and one long overdue. The additional “S” is welcome as well; many women serve in basic science departments, and their needs should also be served.

Each medical school dean appoints an official representative to GWIMS. Find out who represents your school and make your concerns known.

Someday sexism, overt and unintended, may be gone; until then, we need to pay attention to the needs of women.

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