Glass ceiling being broken into pieces

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Talyta Thibes Tecilla and Ms. Bruna Braga Kapusta, two 21 year old medical students in the 8th period of medicine at Unicesumar, Brazil. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The term “glass ceiling” was used by Marilyn Loden in the late 1970s in a speech that approached the related barriers of advancing women in leadership positions, although these impediments cannot be touched or are officially instituted. Bringing this term to the current academic environment of medicine, despite being a discourse of more than 40 years, it’s clear that the institutionalized gender of women reflects the way in which she is still in a position of lesser professional prestige, often being marginalized in the women’s health process by the historical heaviness brought by gender. This view allows the medical student, within this environment that for a long time met only male expectations, changes that accelerate and correct defects that hinder the advancement of women.

Entering the scope of professional medicine, we see that there’s a high rate of women in the medical field, despite the fact that leadership and higher valuation positions are commonly occuped by men. The number of male physicians is greater than women physicians, 64% to 36%, according to 2019 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted in the United States of America. However, this scenario will change, as, according to studies by the Association of American medical colleges (AAMC), there are currently more women matriculated in medical school. In this sense, there is a greater union of the female gender, and a proof of this is the ‘medbikini’ movement that emerged after a study carried out in the United Kingdom, which reinforced patriarchal ideas relating the behavior of female physicians and their ways of dressing with their professional potential.

This situation reverberated not only among doctors, but also among medical students, especially female students who demonstrated, through social networks, that women are still the target of unequal criticism between genders. This reinforces the role of the future doctor in combating this inequality, considering that among medical students, according to data from AAMC 2017, one in seven students reported having been commented on offensive sexist comments or names and about 6% believed who got a low rating or grade due to gender and not performance.

In view of the scenario, September appears as a commemorative month for women in medicine, and therefore, despite being a “traditionally” male environment, it is essential that the medical student is aware of the inequality that still exists between genders. This can be accomplished through access to information about this topic, support for the movements mentioned, for example, in addition to the greater focus of the medical school on this during medical training. In addition, it is necessary to introduce these ideals from an early age so that these future doctors can assume and accept positions of leadership and recognition for merits and excellence, and not for prejudices related to gender. In this way, the so-called “glass ceiling” starts to take on a simplistic function: only that of reflecting and remembering promising and prestigious attitudes made daily by women health professionals.

REFERENCES 

  1. Jagsi R Sexual harassment in medicine—#MeToo. N Engl J Med. 2018; 378: 209-211
  2. MURPHY, Brendan. #MeToo in med ed:: 1 in 7 students subjected to sexist remarks. 1 in 7 students subjected to sexist remarks. 2018.
  3. Carnes, M., Morrissey, C., & Geller, S. E. (2008). Women’s health and women’s leadership in academic medicine: hitting the same glass ceiling?. Journal of women’s health (2002), 17(9), 1453–1462.
  4. Mauvais-Jarvis F, Bairey Merz CN, Barnes PJ, Brinton RD, Carrero J-J, DeMeo DL, de Vries GJ, Epperson CN, Govindan R, Klein SL et al: Sex and gender: Modifiers of health, disease and medicine. Lancet in press.

About the author

Talyta Thibes Tecilla, 21 years old and in the 8th period of medicine at Unicesumar, Brazil. Currently, She is the president of Academic League of Forensic Medical of Maringá (LAMFMA) and member of the Academic League of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (LAMACIV). She has always been fascinated by the possibility of taking care of others and bringing information to those who never had the opportunity to have it. 

Bruna Braga Kapusta, 21 years old and in the 8th period of medicine at Unicesumar, Brazil.  Nowadays, she is the president of League of Pulmonology (LAMAP), director of Academic League of Intensive Medicine in Maringá (LAMIM), participate of scientific department of Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center (CAMN) and member of the Academic League of Angiology and Vascular Surgery (LAMACIV).

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

6 ways countries can prepare for the next infectious disease pandemic

Moves to create a Kosovo army have ‘deteriorated relations’ with Serbia: UN peacekeeping chief

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

3 unexpected consequences of the US-China trade war

China and China-EU Relations in the New Era

Beyond ‘business as usual’. Addressing the climate change crisis

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

We need to give voice to ‘We the Peoples’, says UN chief

With Libyans now ‘fighting the wars of others’ inside their own country, UN envoy urges Security Council action to end violence

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Coronavirus: EU guidance for a safe return to the workplace

5 things COVID-19 has taught us about inequality

Pharmaceuticals: Commission refines intellectual property rules

All States have ‘primary responsibility’ to protect against hate attacks

How the ‘California effect’ could shape a global approach to ethical AI

South Korea: A cherished partner for the EU

Where is heading Putin’s Russia?

New Mozambique storm rips off roofs, brings lashing rain as aid response kicks in

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

Young translators at EU schools – Commission opens registration for 2020 translation contest

Negotiated two-State solution still ‘the only option’ for Palestine: Guterres

UN political chief calls for dialogue to ease tensions in Venezuela; Security Council divided over path to end crisis

State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak

These are the top 10 global causes of death – but two diseases are in decline

Brazilian health: right or privilege?

Why the minutes and the months matter most to young people during the COVID-19 crisis

Stop cooperation with and funding to the Libyan coastguard, MEPs ask

Statement by the European Commission following the extraordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

The remote doctor in the 21st century

Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

What just happened? 5 themes from the COP24 climate talks in Poland

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

EP wants data protection guaranteed before allowing fingerprint exchange with UK

Business growth is key to post-pandemic recovery

A new paradigm for collaboration: mission-based ecosystems

Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future

MEPs urge UK to break current deadlock

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

Commission supports Member States in tackling coronavirus hotspots with offer of four million additional doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine to be delivered this month

These 4 companies are turning food waste into cosmetics, clothing and more

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

More international support needed to curb deadly measles outbreak in DR Congo

White Coat, Stained red

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital reset

Commission celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Jean Monnet Activities promoting European studies worldwide

Meet the Seed Warrior: the man on a mission to rescue India’s rice diversity

UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

Amid COVID-19 constraints, UN women’s commission meets to push gender equality forward

COVID-19, higher education and the impact on society: what we know so far and what could happen

As rural communities age, their public transport is shrinking. It’s time to fix this

Why the future of food must be blue as well as green

The digital revolution will transform the steel industry

ILO: Unemployment to increase by 8.1 million in 2013-2014

Central Mali: Top UN genocide prevention official sounds alarm over recent ethnically-targeted killings

Eco-anxiety during the Pandemic

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa on 16-18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s