Women in rheumatology. the event at the american college of rheumatology annual scientific meeting in october 1992код для вставкиСкачать
890 SPECIAL ARTICLE WOMEN IN RHEUMATOLOGY The Event at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in October 1992 BEVRA H. HAHN The need One of every 6 current members of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a woman (based on my survey of the 1992 ACR Membership Directory). None of the 5 officers and none of the 3 council “chairpersons” are women. One of the 20 members of the Board of Directors is a woman (again, figures based on the 1992 Membership Directory). I estimate the number of women trainees in rheumatology to be 1 in 3. According to a program entitled “The Glass Ceiling” telecast on Cable News Network recently, 1 of 2 employees in the workplace is a woman, compared with 1 of 20 in the boardroom. The need seems clear. Women in the ACR, as in other workbased organizations, are looking for evidence that they belong to the entire group-not just in the trenches. Women struggle with multiple issues, and the struggle can be quite lonely. Some needs are obvious. Affordable and accessible day care for our children near our workplace is essential. A work schedule that provides meaningful off-time to share with all family members-parents, spouses, siblings, children-is needed. Equal pay for equal work seems obvious, but it still eludes many women. Sexual harrassment is a common experience, and few women believe that there is any true redress. Beyond these eminently reasonable needs, we wonder if we should have additional, special, considerations that allow us to fulfill our roles at home as well as in medicine and science. If we ask for special programs (mainly, reduced work schedules), do we deserve to ascend the power ladder? Bevra H. Hahn. MD, FACR: Professor of Medicine and Chief of Rheumatology, University of California Los Angeles, and Member, American College of Rheumatology Planning Group. Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 36, No. 7 (July 1993) Do professional women really want to be Chief Executive Officer, Dean, Head of a Group Practice, Chairman of a Department? Or is the work of the leader not important enough, compared with raising children or making a home, or giving personal service to someone in need, to be desirable? In our current setting of rapid societal change (we women are doubtless here to stay in medicine and science), there is a need for a group that allows important issues to be addressed. A first step toward addressing this need was provided by the ACR during its 56th Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta last October. The planning The idea of a session specifically for the women of the ACR was born in the mind of Gale McCartyFarid, MD, FACR, who is currently Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She approached the leaders of the ACR and asked for a designated meeting time at the 1992 meeting. A breakfast hour was set aside on the first day of full meetings, in the Georgia World Congress Center, where attendance could be maximized. Several other Fellows of the ACR contributed to the planning, including Drs. Evelyn Hess, Naomi Rothfield, Mary Betty Stevens, Deborah Kredich, Marilyn Pike, Lee Simon, Herb Kaplan, and the author. Ms. Sherrie Cathcart, Director of Education for the ACR, was instrumental in making all the arrangements. We asked for an honorarium for a speaker, long after monies had been designated for other parts of the program. Again, the leadership was enthusiastic, and WOMEN IN RHEUMATOLOGY the honorarium was provided. The planned theme for the program was “Time Management,” and we would feature a guest speaker and a panel of ACR members (all physicians). We balanced the panel to represent women in practice and in academics, women with children and without, women who are their own or their family’s sole support and women who are married to a working spouse, as well as women who are young and those who were once young. All of the panelists we selected had served or were then serving on an ACR committee, and/or were consultants to the federal government on women’s issues in science and medicine. Thus, each woman had successfully combined career, extra-career duties, and working for the ACR or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Every person invited to be on the panel accepted with enthusiasm: Interest in this activity was high. So, the program was assembled. All that remained was the concern that no one would come, given the unattractive hour of 7 AM on the first full day (Monday) of the annual meeting. The event People came. We counted 403, of whom 396 were women-mostly trainees and members of the ACR and the Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA). The rolls ran out at 7:06 A M ; the coffee ran out at 7:10 AM. We sent for more. Dr. McCarty chaired. Lucy Davidson, MD, was our speaker. She is a psychiatrist in private practice in Atlanta who specializes in problems of adolescents and women. She is on the faculty at Emory University Medical School, consults for the NIH, and publishes on such problems as suicide in adolescents. Her topic was “Time Management: Problems and Solutions for Women in Medicine.” The panelists were Drs. McCarty (academic medicine), Elizabeth A. “Betsy” Tindall (private practice of rheumatology), Mary Betty Stevens (academic medicine), Patience H. White (academic pediatrics), Robin K. Dore (private practice of rheumatology), and the author (academic medicine). Here is a summary of some of the suggestions gleaned from the program. We are Physicians, Scientists, Researchers, Business Persons, Educators, and Leaders-Not “One Of The Girls.” Be in charge of your office, of the subgroup of your practice in which you specialize, of your research laboratory, of your clinic. Be in charge of the professional and personal aspects of your life. Learn 89 1 to negotiate. Look and act like a professional. The fact that our numbers are increasing is no guarantee that our influence, especially in traditional leadership roles, will increase. There are many countries in which most physicians are women, but very few of the leaders in the medical profession are women. Designate time for each activity you need and want to do, and stay with the plan as much as possible. The plan should not be interrupted for things that are not important to you. Feel free to say “No” to things outside the plan-no excuses needed, just “No.” The medical community should make accommodation for part-time training, practice, or research to allow for time at home. If you need such a program, ask for it. Don’t let work pile up and overwhelm you: Do the necessary things promptly. Dr. Davidson recommended that we open our journals over the wastebasket, tear out only articles we really want to read, and throw the rest away. And, read the tear-outs within 2 or 3 days, or throw them away also. Make your time off work truly off. This is particularly important if you have children, who need help with homework, carpooling them to activities, etc. You need time to be available to them when you are not also available to patients. Plan leisure time that belongs just to you. Your time at work can usually be made more efficient, allowing time for your other activities. Panelists’ suggestions included computer programs that provide quick access to patient data and allow recording of notes during the visit (or promptly after). When you leave the office, you need not take paperwork home. Talented, reliable office and business managers are essential to maximizing office efficiency, thereby allowing you more time away. Choose a work situation that allows you to maximize productivity in the time spent with professional activities. If beginning a research career, it is easiest at a large, research-oriented institution that is rich in well-funded scientists and is dedicated to protected time for young investigators. If beginning a practice, a group that is large enough to provide cross-coverage for the protected time out of the office may be better than staking out an individual practice, unless you have excellent office management and support in the physician community that will allow you protected time from a solo practice. Be at peace with your roles. We cannot do everything to the best of our abilities at all times. Abandon that idea. We should do what we can do in the 24 hours allotted to each day. Be satisfied with 892 achievements; grieve briefly over defeats. Move ahead. The future Open discussion followed the formal program. This portion ran beyond the allotted time. I had the strong sense that this type of forum was needed. There is a widespread sense of frustration, of anger, of being overwhelmed by demands. Many women at all levels feel they are neither treated fairly nor credited appropriately for their talents and work. There are many impediments to our success. Some are peculiar to women; others are experienced by both men and women. The following suggestions grew from the discussion. 1. An organized activity of this sort should be considered for future ACR meetings. The focus for the next program might be “How to Negotiate.” HAHN 2. There is a need for interaction with role models and for counseling by appropriate experts to deal with individual problems among the women members. 3. Consider establishment of an organization akin to the Council on Rheumatologic Care (CORC), which would address the concerns of women in the ACNAHPA. Perhaps the ACR should establish a network of local ACR women-again, using the CORC model. The purposes of the network would be to (a) provide a resource that directs women to supportive local medical practices, academic programs, financial organizations, health maintenance organizations, biotechnical companies, etc., and (b) provide information regarding appropriate responses to such issues as harassment, unequal pay, and impediments to promotion. Our numbers may presently be too small to sustain such a program, but are not too small to begin discussing the options.