Women in medicine vying for level playing field

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike is among the featured speakers at the Women in Medicine Summit, a virtual event to be held Sept. 24-25.

The University of Illinois Cancer Center is a sponsor of the annual summit, designed to help women in medicine achieve parity with their male counterparts.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are the principles that guide our work at the University of Illinois Cancer Center and that extends to the healthcare professionals who’ve committed their careers to serving patients with cancer,” said Director Jan Kitajewski, PhD.

As part of its sponsorship, the Cancer Center will underwrite attendance for five individuals. Abstracts and perspective submissions are currently being accepted. Accepted submissions will be published in the International Journal of Academic Medicine.

Cancer Center members are also encouraged to participate in other ways, including submitting nominations for the 2021 WIM Awards.

Three different categories of the #IStandWithHer awards will be presented:

  • #Resilience – Recognizes someone who has faced significant hurdles and has persisted
  • #SheforShe – Recognizes women who have made significant contributions to improve the careers of fellow women physicians
  • #HeforShe #XeforShe – Recognizes men/non-binary individuals who have made significant contributions to improve the careers of women physicians and who recognize and fight to correct gender disparity

Women outnumbered men in medical school enrollment beginning in 2019 and female physicians comprise more than 36% of the physician workforce. Still, women in medicine have yet to achieve gender parity, said WIM founder, chair and Cancer Center member Dr. Shikha Jain.

“It’s not just about pay equity, though differences in compensation remain an issue for many women physicians. This movement is about elevating women to leadership roles and recognizing the small ways female physicians are treated differently, like being called by their first names when they’re introduced at a conference, or overlooked for leadership and speaking opportunities or awards,” said Dr. Jain.

Deadline for award nominations is Friday, Aug. 6. Recipients will receive free registration and be honored at the awards ceremony.

In addition to Dr. Ezike, featured presenters include UIC faculty member and cofounder of The Institution for Antiracism in Medicine, Dr. Brittani Jackson; Dr. Helen Burstin, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS); and Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army during his last tour of duty. Learn more and register here: https://www.womeninmedicinesummit.org/

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