Women in medicine sometimes ask, “Why do I need a women physician group? I see myself as a physician, not a female physician.” Nevertheless, women in the healthcare industry are seeking and creating local groups and national female physician networks. Women may engage in separate groups of only women, not to exclude male colleagues, but to involve more women. Female physicians say they want their own networks for the following reasons:
Other female physicians understand the challenges you encounter. Professional societies of women provide the comfort of understanding necessary to have grit in the face of adversity.
What do you do when doing a good job does not get you the recognition you deserve? Women want to hear what other women leaders are experiencing and their thoughts about professional development strategies.
Often women participate actively in one-on-one conversations or in all female groups, but hold back in mixed groups. Female communication styles (e.g., modest) are different than male styles (e.g., boastful), and reducing differences in styles equalizes power.
What is the possible impact of a lateral move or of job sharing? When there is no roadmap, you need someone you can speak to about the potential benefits and pitfalls of a decision.
Women want to expand the narrow definitions of leadership. Openly discussing how your leadership style may be different than those in power is essential to finding a personal leadership voice.
Women are looking for mentors, as well as mentoring others. Virtual and on-site female physician networks help make those connections.
Women are changing the face of medicine. The values, style, and perspective of women in medical practice frequently are different than those of their male colleagues. In the words of visionary psychiatrist, Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., “When a critical number of people change how they think and behave, the culture will also, and a new era begins.” Women’s networks help women physicians value and enrich what they offer medicine, so their diversity can be woven into and strengthen the fabric of healthcare. Read more content about career resilience and fulfillment by clicking here.