The unique frequency of felling the gab on women’s rights by medical students

(Jude Beck, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Gismat Ansari, a second Year Medical Student at Ahfad University for Women, Sudan. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

4 Billion lives, 4 Billion cries. We are engulfed in the mighty craters of this crafty world bestowing some of us the power to decide for the others which is often carried out apathetically. A world we envision is like the horizon. We are often bewildered in its beauty but presence remains a far fetched reality. However, I intend to look for this horizon every time the opportunities of the sky meet the infinities of the sea and are blanketed by the ignorance of humans at the shore.

A lack of women in leadership positions, a gender pay gap, stereotypes and self-confidence all play a role in gender inequality in medicine. At the inaugural Women in Medicine Symposium, Vineet Arora, MD, detailed these issues and discussed how women could be more empowered in the medical field.

The solutions are present in a shapes of:

•    gender inequity and discrimination.

•    productivity.

•    work-life balance.

•    professional development and leadership skills.

•    mentoring and role models.

•    culture and climate.

Role of the Medical  Students :

Throughout achieving the previous steps the gap will be felling in the following way ;

Medicine across the globe is positioned to take decisive action now to advance gender equity in medicine. In particular, organizational leadership should design a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive (JEDI) environment, as part of a larger effort towards organizational professionalism .Driving gender equity forward is a necessary part of this effort because without transformational change, at the current rate of closure of the compensation gap by gender, achieving equity in this domain could take well over a century .If this signals the rate of change towards gender equity in all domains, we are in dire need of big, bold steps forward to more rapidly achieve equity in career advancement and leadership.

Without bold steps forward, the cycle self-perpetuates: women physicians in faculty positions are less likely to advance, more likely to leave, and trainees will continue to find few women physician mentors, sponsors, and role models. How can we break this cycle? What seismic transformations can leaders implement to accelerate gender equity in medicine? To achieve gender equity, we offer the following recommendations for organizations and their leaders.

Address structural biases. As healthcare organizations introspect about equity, identifying disparities in the physician pipeline, they can begin to redesign policies and practices that perpetuate structural biases. For example, implementing family-friendly policies can mitigate bias and discrimination. Formal programs, peer mentorship, or coaching can also help improve mentorship, sponsorship, and advancement overall .Leadership training for physicians in all career stages could support the needed knowledge and skills towards policy development, such as those implemented by the AAMC ,consortia of professional medical organizations, including our own ,and others .Such programs offer opportunities for retaining women physicians in the career pipeline and on the escalator towards leadership.

Cross-pollinate different modes of thought towards the achievement of gender equity. The Time’s Up initiative began in Hollywood to address workplace sexual harassment but quickly seeded the current Time’s Up Healthcare movement. Addressing sexual harassment through organizational policies and perhaps also training is necessary to mitigate its significant effects on women physicians’ confidence and their ability to advance in their careers .In a different mode of thought, the quality improvement mindset, often applied to improve the quality of patient care, could also help the medical community achieve gender equity. Finally, all of these efforts described so far synergize with efforts to promote physician and trainee well-being, especially for women physicians who experience unique barriers and challenges in burnout. Academic medical centres are uniquely positioned to address each of these challenges contemporaneously.

About the author

Gismat Ansari is a second Year Medical Student at Ahfad University for Women. She is passionate SCORP member and serving as current LORP and Project coordinator for children rights and health.

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